Madras HC refers conduct of lawyer to Bar Council

Madras HC refers conduct of lawyer to Bar Council
Madras HC refers conduct of lawyer to Bar Council

Criticising a lawyer-petitioner for using intemperate language and even calling it a ‘kangaroo court’, the Madras High Court today referred the matter to the state bar council to examine his conduct and decide whether he should continue as a member on its rolls.

Dismissing a second review petition by lawyer Muthukrishan challenging the compulsory helmet rule for two-wheeler riders and questioning the imposition of cost on him, the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana also slapped a fresh cost of Rs 10,000 on him.

Taking exception to the remarks made by the lawyer, who appeared party in person in the matter, that dismissal of his earlier plea amounted to “katta panchayat” (kangaroo court) and calling its observations as judicial activism, the bench said such conduct by lawyers is completely unbecoming of their profession and unacceptable as norm of conduct.

“The language of the pleadings is offensive in character and in our view, reflection of the disrespect of the petitioner towards the judicial system. That it comes from a Lawyer is all the more unfortunate, albeit appearing in person,” the court held in its order.

“We are thus unequivocally of the view that the petitioner is deliberately trying to scandalise the court and taking advantage of his age to get away from the consequences of the misadventure,” it said.

“…But we do believe that instead of taking proceedings for contempt, we are of the view that we should refer the matter to the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, with a copy marked to the Bar Council of India, to examine the conduct of the petitioner to examine the conduct of the petitioner-advocate in the context whether he should continue on the rolls as a member of the bar or his membership ought to be cancelled or suspended.”

The petitioner had earlier challenged the helmet rule of a single judge. The petition was dismissed and a review plea is pending before the single judge.

Whileso, he filed a review petition before the First Bench and it was dismissed on November 3 with cost of Rs 10,000. He filed the present review plea before the bench.

During the hearing of the review application today, the petitioner submitted that the earlier dismissal of his plea and imposing cost amounted to judicial activism.

He further submitted that the judgment suffers from error. He also objected to the court terming his petition a ‘publicity stunt’ in the earlier order.

Rejecting his objections, the bench said a lawyer was aware both as to what the nature of proceedings to be filed is and also the requirement of temperate language. Both were absent.

It also said the Supreme Court had ofen observed that Public Interest Litigation should not be converted into Publicity Interest Litigation.

The bench said it first thought of leaving the matter at a stage as a misadventure of the petitioner but took a serious view of the further arguments and the language used.

( Source – PTI )

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