Report No. 266
8.11 In Mahabir Prasad Singh v. Jacks Aviation Pvt. Ltd.18, the Supreme Court held that it is the solemn duty of every Court to proceed with the judicial business during court hours and no Court should yield to pressure tactics or boycott calls or any kind of browbeating. The Court held:
"At any rate, no advocate can ask the Court to avoid a case on the ground that he does not want to appear in that Court."
8.12 In M/s. Chetak Construction Ltd. v. Om Prakash19, the Court deprecated the practice of making allegations against the Judges observing as under:
"Lawyers and litigants cannot be allowed to "terrorize" or "intimidate" Judges with a view to "secure" orders which they want. This is basic and fundamental and no civilised system of administration of justice can permit it." Similar view has been reiterated in Radha Mohan Lal v. Rajasthan High Court20.
8.13 In view of the observations by the Courts, in the event of a strike, a court is not obliged to become complicit in the illegality by adjourning the case for the absence of counsel, it may proceed to pass orders ex parte. Litigation work requires the representatives and authorities to systematically engage in legal proceedings at various points over sustained periods of time so as to arrive at resolution to the disputes. To use this situation of necessity to claim increased bargaining power is a wanton perversion of the aims of the justice delivery system. To forcibly prevent other advocates from appearing in their respective proceedings is even worse.
The act of going on strike amounts to a violation of an advocate's duty as an officer of the court and his duty to maintain standards of professional conduct and ethics. It also results in a violation of his agreement with the client. At the same time, it is also contempt of court and a violation of the right of speedy trial for litigants. The unacceptable actions of advocates have not shown any significant improvement despite the establishment of competent authorities to regulate the conduct of advocates. The reasons for strikes reported in case law have not been found to justify organised violence directly prejudicial to the vital function of justice delivery.
8.14 The unacceptable trend of making false allegations against judicial officers and humiliating them requires to be curbed, otherwise the judicial system would lose its credibility. The Bench and the Bar have to avoid unwarranted situations on trivial issues that hamper the cause of justice and are in the interest of none. "Liberty of free expression is not to be confounded or confused with license to make unfounded allegations against any institution, much less the Judiciary"21. An Advocate in a profession as well in his conduct should be diligent and conform to the requirements of the law by which an Advocate plays an important role in the preservation of justice system. Any violation of the principles of professional ethics by an Advocate is unfortunate and unacceptable. Any kind of deviance not only affects the system but corrodes the faith of the people at large22.
8.15 In Arun Kumar Yadav v. State of Uttar Pradesh Through District Judge23, the Supreme Court observed:
"The judicial proceeding has its own solemnity and sanctity. No one has any authority to sully the same. It is the obligation of everyone to behave with propriety when a judicial proceeding is conducted. Any kind of deviancy not only affects the system but corrodes the faith of the collective at large. Neither any counsel nor a litigant can afford to behave in this manner."
8.16 The lawyer who presents the application before the court making unfounded allegations against a judicial officer, impleading him by name, though not permissible in law as explained by the Court in Savitri Devi v. District Judge, Gorakhpur24, without reasonably satisfying himself about the prima facie existence of adequate grounds, is equally responsible for contempt for scandalizing the court for the reason that he cannot be a mouthpiece of his client and cannot associate himself with his client in maligning the reputation of judicial officer merely because his client failed to secure the desired order from the said officer. A deliberate attempt to scandalise the court which would shake the confidence of the litigating public in the system would cause a very serious damage to the name of the judiciary25.
8.17 In Re: Ajay Kumar Pandey26, the Supreme Court held:
"No one can be permitted to intimidate or terrorize judges by making scandalous unwarranted and baseless imputations against them in the discharge of their judicial functions so as to secure orders which the litigant 'wants'. The liberty of expression cannot be treated as a licence to scandalize the court."
8.18 In Bar Council of India v. High Court of Kerala27, the Supreme Court observed, "An advocate in no circumstances is expected to descend to the level of appearing to support his view in a vulgar brawl."
8.19 In Re: S. Mulgaokar28, the Supreme Court observed that public interest and public justice require that whenever there is an attack on the judge, it is scurrilous, offensive, intimidatory or malicious, the law must strike a blow on him as he challenges the supremacy of law by fouling the source and stream.
8.20 The legal profession requires the safeguarding of moral standards. As an officer of the court, a lawyer has a duty to the court towards his profession and to the public. Since the prime duty of a lawyer is to assist the court in dispensing justice, the members of the Bar cannot behave in a manner which is doubtful, or full of scruples or which strives to thrive on litigation. Lawyers must remember that they are to assist the court in the administration of justice. If lawyers do not perform their function properly, it would be degenerative to the rule of law.
8.21 A suggestion has been made that at every district headquarters, the District Judge may constitute an Advocates' Grievance Redressal Committee headed by a Judicial Officer which will deal with the day to day routine matters, as large number of issues and grievances arise in the smooth working of the advocates. In this regard, the High Court may issue a circular in exercise of its power under article 235 of the Constitution providing for redressal of grievances of the Advocates which will help in improving their efficiency.
8.22 In case there is some grievance against a Judicial Officer, the Bar may raise the grievance before the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court.