Monday, October 12, 2015

2015, a year to remember in history of HC Bench

2015, a year to remember in history of HC Bench

MOHAMED IMRANULLAH S.

MADURAI, October 12, 2015

The Bench attracted national attention, albeit for wrong reasons

UNFORTUNATE:Lawyers burning a helmet on Madurai High Court Bench campus in July to protest against a directive to implement helmet rule strictly.

“Criminalisation of the Bar has already started and is spreading like a wild fire sullying, degrading and destroying the image and prestige of the noble profession,” the Madras High Court Bench here observed on October 6, a couple of months after a section of lawyers here burnt a helmet on the court campus opposing a directive to police to implement helmet rule strictly.

If 2004 will remain etched in the annals of Madurai’s recent history as the year when the High Court Bench was established, so will 2015 since it was when the Bench attracted national attention first due to the unprecedented confrontation between the judiciary and a section of lawyers, and second due to an order passed by it on October 6 touching upon the quality of lawyers.

Coincidentally, Justice N. Kirubakaran was the author of both the June 9 judgement relating to enforcement of the helmet rule, passed in a case filed in the High Court in Chennai, and the one passed on October 6, in a case filed in the Madurai Bench, expressing concern over “the legal profession having been blighted by the entry of criminal elements”.

The judge said: “This court has been witnessing a steep fall in the standards (expected of a lawyer), a steady invasion into legal profession by criminal, communal and extremist elements by purchasing law degrees without any basic qualifications and without attendance from ‘Letter Pad’ law colleges.

“They attempt to disturb normal court proceedings by boycotts, exhibit unruly, high-handed behaviour inside and outside the court, commit offences and cover them up with the advocate’s label… It is very unfortunate that the so-called Bar leaders and many of the Bar Council members are said to be associated with these elements.

“If this menace is not curtailed, the day is not far away when courts will be conducted as per the wishes of criminal elements and communal leaders… One needs to take a look at the grim and serious state of the legal profession practically… This Court hopes that the issue of criminalisation of the profession is seriously taken note of by the Honourable Supreme Court and the Central government.

“Appropriate action should be taken to redeem the profession from the clutches of persons with criminal background, communal elements with muscle power and persons with extremist ideology. Otherwise ‘Neethi Devathai,’ the Goddess of Justice, will not forgive all the stakeholders of justice delivery system… Even one drop of poison will spoil the whole pot of milk.”

The judge recommended sweeping changes to the way in which admissions into law colleges and legal practice were being made in the country.

His recommendations included dissolution of Bar Councils and replacing them with expert bodies, abolishing three-year law degree courses, denying permission to people with criminal background to either pursue a law course or to get enrolled as a lawyer, making pre-enrolment apprenticeship mandatory for all law graduates and reducing the number of seats in law colleges.

Welcoming the judgement, S. Srinivasa Raghavan, vice-president, Madurai Bench of Madras High Court Bar Association (MMBA), said that it would have been much better if the judge had ordered that even District Judges and Judicial Magistrates who had been found guilty by the High Court of corruption or such other charges should not be allowed to be enrolled as lawyers.

“Mr. Justice Kirubakaran has ordered that persons who had been dismissed or removed from any service or left service pursuant to any departmental action or domestic proceedings in any service should not be enrolled as lawyers. But the problem is that only after the present Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul took charge we get to see many judicial officers being dismissed from service.

“Earlier, the practice was to send them away on compulsory retirement or let them off with minor punishments. Many such corrupt former judicial officers are now practising as lawyers in our own High Court Bench. When we talk about preventing entry of criminals into legal profession, it should include former judicial officers who had escaped severe punishment despite being found guilty,” he added.

However, advocate G. Prabhu Rajadurai had a different take on the issue. He recalled his acquaintance with a very handsome, smart and well-dressed murder convict who had obtained postgraduate degrees in various subjects, including law, history and sociology, and then begun to do research in mathematics during his incarceration in the 1990s. “His father was also a murder convict who died in prison.

“A few months ago, I happened to meet him... After exchanging pleasantries, I hesitantly asked him what was he and he replied that he was a professor of mathematics in a reputed university. Then, as a matter of courtesy, I asked him why didn’t he choose to practise as a lawyer. But today, I feel it’s good that he didn’t become a lawyer,” he said.


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This Blog Spot is meant for publishing landmark judgments pronounced by the Court of law as we collected from the renowned Dailies, Magazines, etc., so as to create an awareness to the general public and also to keep it as a ready reckoner by them. As such the readers may extend their gratitude towards the Original Author as we quoted at the bottom of each Post under the title "Courtesy/Sources". Furthermore, the Blog Authors are no way responsible for the correctness of the materials published herein and the readers may verify the concerned valuable sources.



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