Advocating violence



The conduct of lawyers in Bangalore, who disrupted proceedings of the Karnataka High Court on Monday, locked up judges in the court room and even physically assaulted them, deserves the strongest condemnation. The lawyers were trying to enforce a call to boycott the court of Chief Justice P D Dinakaran against whom land encroachment and other charges have been levelled. The  Advocates’ Association of Bangalore had called upon Justice Dinakaran not to perform judicial work till his name is cleared of the charges. Since the Chief Justice continued with his duties, the lawyers decided to boycott courts on Monday to express their protest. But they took the law into their hands and resorted to even violence to impose their will on judges and others.

Requesting Justice Dinakaran to keep himself off judicial work till his name is convincingly cleared is one thing. It is improper for the Chief Justice to continue with his work when he is in the midst of the controversy. But to resort to violence and to stop judges from discharging their duties through force is a different matter altogether. That amounts to disrupting judicial work and obstruction of justice. In the past, lawyers have also been prone to unruly behaviour in Bangalore and elsewhere in the country when they have agitated on various issues. They are expected to be friends of the court and should have the highest commitment to the rule of law. But their conduct has belied such expectations. The advocates’ association cannot escape responsibility for the shameful incident by claiming that it was the handiwork of some bad elements.

The lawyers’ rowdy and uncivilised conduct should not go unpunished. Very often they have got away with lawless behaviour. A recent instance is the Madras High Court letting off lawyers, who had clashed with the police in the court premises in February, with just a friendly advice. There was no reason for the court to be lenient when there was evidence of the lawyers’ violent conduct, and an enquiry commission, headed by Justice Srikrishna, had indicted them. Such magnanimity only encourages them in their criminal ways. The lawyers must be made to realise that they are not above the law. In his report Justice Srikrishna had recommended framing of guidelines on lawyers’ conduct and amendment of the Advocates Act to better discipline them. These need to be done and misconduct should be handled without leniency and mercy.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry