AIZAWL, Oct 27 - A large number of criminal cases are pending in Mizoram courts as defence counsels, hired by State Government for those who can�t afford lawyers, have been on strike since the last few weeks.
The defence counsels have been demanding a revision of their fees as per agrement made between the State�s Law & Judicial department and Mizoram Bar Association.
�As per the agreement, the defence lawyers are categorised into three groups, based on their years of practice. Lawyers with seven to 15 years of practice will get Rs 600 per appearance, those with 15-20 years Rs 900 and those with 20 and above years Rs 1500, as per the proposal,� a defence counsel said.
On the contrary, the government pays a flat fee of Rs 715 to each lawyer per appearance. �If we go with the agreement, most of us would get lower fees. The revision will benefit only our senior lawyers,� he said. There are about 30 such defence lawyers. About 90 per cent of accused in crimes like murder, rape and thefts can�t afford lawyers.