The Supreme Court Monday asked whether any direction was required for enforcing the Bar Council of India’s rule that judges should be addressed as “Sir” instead of the existing practice of addressing the apex court and high court judges as “My Lord” or “Your Lordship”.
The apex court bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the PIL petitioner, advocate Shiv Sagar Tiwari, “whether any mandamus is required for enforcing the Bar Council Rule” asking that judges should be addressed as “Sir” or any other equivalent word.
After Tiwari said every rule made by the Bar Council was mandatory to be observed, the court recused from hearing the matter, asking it to be listed before another bench.
The court had to do so as Justice Gogoi said he would not hear the matter.
Justice Gogoi along with another judge was part of the bench where the presiding judge insisted that the court should be addressed as “Lordship”.
The petition said Bar Council rules have been amended to address the court as “Sir or the equivalent word in respective legal languages in place of ‘My Lord’ or ‘Your Honour’ which is the relic of colonial past”.
The petitioner advocate said that unless the apex court issued a “writ in the nature of mandamus, the Hon’ble Judges in the courts and the advocates appearing in the courts will not follow the amended Bar Council of India Rules which are mandatory now”.
Referring to May 6, 2006, amended Rules of the Bar Council of India, the PIL petitioner advocate said: “To maintain the honour of the country and to get rid of slavery system, it is essential to issue a writ in the nature of mandamus commanding all the courts in the country not to accept the words ‘My Lord’ or ‘Your Lordship’ addressed by any person either advocate or someone else appearing in the court”.