After giving some inputs to Law commission and Bar Council of India in this para,
16. The interest of justice may suffer if the counsel conducting the trial is physically or mentally unfit on account of any disability. The interest of the society is paramount and instead of trials being conducted again on account of unfitness of the counsel, reform may appear to be necessary so that such a situation does not arise. Perhaps time has come to review the Advocates Act and the relevant Rules to examine the continued fitness of an advocate to conduct a criminal trial on account of advanced age or other mental or physical infirmity, to avoid grievance that an Advocate who conducted trial was unfit or incompetent. This is an aspect which needs to be looked into by the concerned authorities including the Law Commission and the Bar Council of India.
Supreme Court passed these reasons for not recalling a witness
29. We may now sum up our reasons for disapproving the view of the High Court in the present case:
(i) The trial court and the High Court held that the accused had appointed counsel of his choice. He was facing trial in other cases also. The earlier counsel were given due opportunity and had duly conducted cross-examination. They were under no handicap;
(ii) No finding could be recorded that the counsel appointed by the accused were incompetent particularly at back of such counsel;
(iiii) Expeditious trial in a heinous offence as is alleged in the present case is in the interests of justice;
(iv) The trial Court as well as the High Court rejected the reasons for recall of the witnesses;
(v) The Court has to keep in mind not only the need for giving fair opportunity to the accused but also the need for ensuring that the victim of the crime is not unduly harassed;
(vi) Mere fact that the accused was in custody and that he will suffer by the delay could be no consideration for allowing recall of witnesses, particularly at the fag end of the trial;
(vii) Mere change of counsel cannot be ground to recall the witnesses;
(viii) There is no basis for holding that any prejudice will be caused to the accused unless the witnesses are recalled;
(ix) The High Court has not rejected the reasons given by the trial court nor given any justification for permitting recall of the witnesses except for making general observations that recall was necessary for ensuring fair trial. This observation is contrary to the reasoning of the High Court in dealing with the grounds for recall, i.e., denial of fair opportunity on account of incompetence of earlier counsel or on account of expeditious proceedings;
(x) There is neither any patent error in the approach adopted by the trial court rejecting the prayer for recall nor any clear injustice if such prayer is not granted.
Citations : [2016 ACR SC 1 142], [2016 ALT CRL AP 1 167], [2016 MPJR 1 1], [2016 NCC 1 393], [2016 SCC 2 402], [2016 SCJ 1 93], [2015 AIR SC 3501], [2015 AD SC 10 165], [2015 ALLCC 91 640], [2015 BOMCR CRI 4 366], [2015 CCR SC 3 468], [2015 CRILJ 4640], [2015 CRIMES SC 4 1], [2015 JLJR 4 97], [2015 PLJR 4 258], [2015 RCR CRIMINAL 4 312], [2015 RLW SC 4 3271], [2015 SCALE 9 649], [2015 UC 3 1794], [2016 SCC CRI 1 510], [2015 SCC ONLINE SC 799], [2015 AIC 155 68], [2015 CRI LJ 4640]
Other Sources :