While directing a lawyer to vacate the building rented out to him by a Doctor, the Madras High Court observed that the law profession is already under severe criticism and due to the activities of lawyers in the State, it further started diminishing its reputation among public.
Justice S.Vaidyanathan came down heavily on a lawyer observing that he has been adopting dilatory tactics to prolong the proceedings before Rent Control Authorities. Observing that his conduct is unbecoming of a lawyer, the judge said:
It is saddening to note that owing to intrusion of black sheep into the noble profession of advocacy, like the petitioner, the reputation of good lawyers in the society is at the verge of fall. The petitioner is a venom and if he is allowed to be mingled with other members of the Bar freely, the entire profession would be ruined, like a single drop of poison in a pot of milk turning the whole milk into poison.
An Advocate is a representative, but not a delegate and he gives to his client the benefit of his learning and his talents. Lawyers are globally recognised as Officers of the Court and agents of the administration of justice and they are imposed with the social duty to promote rule of law in the society and fight for protecting the fundamental rights and freedoms of the citizens as guaranteed in the Constitution. In this case, the petitioner, being an Advocate, instead of playing the role of a promoter of rule of law, has been teaching a lesson to the society as to how to break law and the profession is being squeezed by the hands of such person. The Legal Ethics and the Profession of Law requires that an Advocate shall use his best efforts to restrain and prevent his client from resorting to sharp or unfair practices or from doing anything in relation to the Court, opposing counsel or parties which the Advocate himself ought not to do and in that event, he shall refuse to represent the client, who persists in such improper conduct. When the petitioner / Advocate himself indulges in such improper conduct, he is making mockery of not only the profession, but also the Court.
The court observed that in olden days, respect extended to lawyers were inexplicable and that they were given utmost regards in the society. The Judge further said:
At this point of time, it is appropriate for me to recollect an incident described by my father that when my father was travelling in a Tram in Madras, a young chap got into it and was standing near to an old man. The old man asked the chap as to what he was doing and upon hearing that the young chap was a Lawyer, he immediately stood up and requested that chap to sit in his seat. Lawyer gained that kind of respect in those days and it is a million dollar question as to whether those days will come back.Even many of our great leaders, like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Dr.B.R.Ambedkar are lawyers, who sacrificed their lives for the noble cause of justice besides fighting for freedom and several unknown lawyers had also lost their lives in the freedom struggle.
While directing the lawyer to vacate the premises within a period of two weeks, the Court also granted liberty to the landlord to prefer complaint against the lawyer tenant before the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and observed thus:
“It is apposite to state that law profession is already under severe criticism and due to the activities of lawyers in this State, it further started diminishing its reputation among public. If the tenant, like petitioner / Advocate is allowed to occupy the premises, a situation may arise, when no owner will rent out his building to an Advocate and in that event, people will definitely lose their faith in the justice delivery system..
Unless such person with unprofessional conduct is dealt with an iron hand, the noble profession cannot be safeguarded and if this kind of Advocate is not taught a lesson, it will definitely set a bad precedent to the Public and create a bad image about Lawyers in the society, as the person like the petitioner ought to be nipped at the bud itself and it is for the Bar Council to decide on the same.”
Interestingly, these directions have been issued in a Transfer Petition filed by the Lawyer-Tenant seeking transfer the case from the file of/ Sub-Ordinate Court, Vellore to the Subordinate Court, Ranipet by levelling certain complaints against the Principal Subordinate Judge. Justifying the issuance of the above directives, the court said:
“Though the directions issued by this Court may appear beyond the purview of a Transfer Petition, this Court is empowered to mould the relief by invoking the inherent powers of this Court as provided under Section 151 of CPC to pass orders to meet the ends of justice or to prevent abuse of the process of the Court.”