Spurned, accused now thrown a legal lifeline

After the Madras High Court Advocates Association decided that no lawyer will represent the accused in the case relating to the rape of a 11-year-old hearing impaired girl, the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) has stepped in to provide help to the 17 accused. Sources from the DLSA said that they met all the accused in prison and had taken petitions from those who were seeking legal help and wanted DLSA to defend themselves.

Sources reveal that three bail applications have now been filed.

Susheela*, sister of 23-year-old Jayaraman, one of the accused who was assaulted by the advocates on the Madras High Court premises, is desperate to meet her brother.

“Nobody was, so far, willing to move his bail application,” she said. Ms. Susheela also criticised the lawyers for attacking him while in custody.

Suresh, another accused and a former security guard at the apartment, had to leave his job four months ago, after some residents found him drunk on duty.

Three of the seven families of the accused were unavailable when The Hindu visited their homes. The house of Raja, one of the accused, was found locked too. “His wife and children were shut inside for days since the news broke out. They left without informing us,” said a neighbour.

The mother of 26-year-old Jayaganesh, who joined as a plumber at the apartment eight years ago, is also determined to fight for her son. “The truth must be brought out denying bail is not going to help,” she said.

(* Name changed.)

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