[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]hose approaching courts in Tamil Nadu better be cautious. The judges in the courts have warned litigants about selecting their lawyers. Chances are that many of them are fake advocates with no proper educational qualification. The 154 year old Madras High Court (it was established on June 26, 1862) is facing one of the worst crises in its history thanks to a group of dubious lawyers and some intransigent judges.
…the only titans now visible in the Madras High Court are the Titan watches made by the House of Tatas…
Six lawyers have been murdered in Chennai alone during the last one year, something unheard of anywhere in the country since lawyers command respect and awe. One of the lawyers was murdered in front of the court by his fellow lawyers! All these come amidst reports that Left Wing Extremists, and LTTE elements have infiltrated into the judiciary.
Since early July, the Madras High Court Advocates Association is on a warpath against the judges following the Court’s decision to go ahead with the amendment to the Advocates’ Act which has shifted the power to discipline erring lawyers from the Bar Council to the Judges. The agitation has brought the functioning of courts in Tamil Nadu to almost a standstill with no more filing of petitions in the district courts.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]R[/dropcap] T Shyamala and Subramanian Balaji, two prominent faces in the Madras High Court told PGurus that the functioning of the courts across the State has been affected by the agitation launched by the advocates. “The Advocates’ Act has to be formulated and amended by the Bar Council of India and not by the judges. The Act has been amended by the judges without consulting the lawyers,” said Shyamala.
The Advocates Act deals with the laws concerning the professional conduct of the lawyers and the rules governing the disciplinary proceedings against them. “As per the Act brought in by the Madras High Court, the judges in the High Court and District Courts would be empowered to finish off the careers of lawyers. This is against all norms in the country,” said Balaji.
Both Shyamala and Balaji agreed that the Madras High Court, known for some of the brilliant legal luminaries it contributed to the world of judiciary, is in a pathetic state of late. Hundreds of newly enrolled “lawyers” have literally hijacked the Madras High Court. “Many anti-social elements have enrolled as lawyers with degrees they manage with from law colleges in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. All you need to do is to pay a certain amount and get registered as a student in any of the law colleges mushrooming all over these States. None of them know anything about law or Constitution,” said a senior advocate in Madras High Court who spoke on condition of anonymity.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he new breed of lawyers who get enrolled from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are a law unto themselves, pointed out Balaji. “They do everything which a lawyer is not supposed to do. Professional ethics or etiquettes are terms alien to these lawyers,” said Balaji. The affidavit submitted by K Ramanujam, the then DGP, to the Madras High Court in 2014 in connection with a public interest litigation speaks volumes about the quality of the new breed lawyers in Tamil Nadu. “There are 1200 lawyers with criminal background in Tamil Nadu. There are 1424 criminal cases filed against these lawyers and the charges range from murder, dacoity, sexual assault, criminal misconduct, dowry harassment and Kangaroo Court,” said the affidavit
Judges from other States consider Madras High Court as punishment posting. “Many judges has sought transfer to other places because of the behaviour of some of the lawyers. Nobody has forgotten the attack on BJP leader Dr Subramanian Swamy by a group of lawyers who threw rotten eggs at him in a court room presided over by Justice S Chandru. No action has been taken against anybody though the judge has made a complaint,” said Balaji.
This year saw a bizarre incident when C S Karnan, a serving judge of the Madras High Court “stayed” the order issued by the Chied Justice of India transferring him to the Calcutta High Court. The judge broke all norms of the land and held a press meet accusing his superiors. “I am being targeted because I am Dalit,” said Karnan. He also said that he was ashamed of being born in India. “I will not hesitate to move to a country where caste discrimination does not exist,” he had declared.
Later on he called on the CJI and said he was sorry for his outbursts. Karnan had courted many controversies in the past and the chief of the apex court chose to give the incident a go by. But the damage has been done. Public memory is still fresh with the riots unleashed by the so called lawyers in the Madras High Court premises.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]W[/dropcap]ho finance and sustain the agitations launched by these lawyers? Balaji is of the firm view that there are Maoists, LTTE elements and Evangelist organisations funding these agitations. “They operate under various names. The kind of Public Interest Litigations filed in the Madras High Court are an indication of the ulterior motives of these lawyers,” said Balaji. There are PILs filed in the MHC challenging the union government’s decision to sell patrol boats to Sri Lankan Navy.
The security of the MHC premises has been handed over to the CISF commandos following reports about many untoward incidents in the court campus. A group of lawyers in an inebriated condition trespassed into the official residences of the chief justice S K Kaul early this year.. Fortunately, the CJ and his family members were not there when the incident happened. There are reports that these new breed lawyers use the court premises as a den for drinking and gambling after the office-hours..
The Madras High Court once used to reverberate with memories of splendid arguments put up by Alladi Krishnamoorthy and Sir C P Ramaswamy Aiyer, the titans of the legal fraternity. Well, the only titans now visible in the Madras High Court are the Titan watches made by the House of Tatas…
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