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A man, sentenced to two years in jail for bootlegging, has been ordered by a Delhi court to be tried again on same charges as his right to fair trial had been compromised due to non-provision of counsel to defend him in first trial.

“Appellant (Trilok Singh) has been denied the right of fair trial by not providing legal assistance as mandated by Section 304 CrPC. Hence, the appeal is allowed. Impugned judgment of May 26, 2012 and sentence dated May 30, 2012 are accordingly set aside,” said Additional Sessions Judge Vikas Dhull.

“The matter is remanded back to the trial court for a de novo trial and is directed to proceed with the trial of Singh from the stage of prosecution evidence,” the court said.

The sessions court also asked the magisterial court to provide legal aide to Singh during his fresh trial.

Singh had been allegedly caught by police on April 28, 2004 along with six bottles of illicit liquor without any permit or licence here and was sentenced to two years in jail in May 20 this year.

He had come to the sessions court against his conviction and sentencing, contending that he was not provided legal aid by the trial court due to which he was unable to cross examine the prosecution witnesses.

Noting that Singh had initially engaged a counsel but no lawyer had represented him at later stage of trial, the court said, “… It was the duty of the trial court to have provided the legal assistance to Singh to ensure fair trial.”

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