The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday reprimanded an advocate for sending a discourteous email to the registry over urgent listing of a case.
Chief Justice Abhay S Oka asked the advocate to appear via video conferencing, and expressed strong displeasure at his conduct.
Urging the lawyers to act with patience until normalcy is restored, Justice Oka tsaid "Let this message be conveyed to the members of the bar that the registry is working under great difficulty. 36 judicial officers have gone into quarantine. In Mandya district, 12 court staff are tested positive. "
The Advocate had sent an email to the Registry seeking an urgent hearing of his case. However, no FR number was not mentioned. The registry then sent a reply to him asking whether he would want to e-file the matter or fix a date. To which he replied saying 'You are not able to understand anything."
Following the admonishment by the Court, the Advocate profusely apologized but also tried to clarify that it was a mistake committed by his junior who was not able to understand English.
Expressing surprise, the bench said "Sending email to the registry is very serious business. If your junior does not understand what language is to be used, such work should not be delegated to him. This is a very sorry state of affairs".
Justice Oka read out the order passed by the Supreme Court on July 6 which observed that the court staff was working with utmost sincerity amidst the danger posed by COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chief Justice said "We want to tell you that lawyers are sending nasty messages on email. One member of the bar forwarded an email on my personal email id a few days back early in the morning asking me to take up his matter urgently."
He added that advocates are not following the SOP issued by the High Court.
Reminding that the judges and court officials are working under extreme pressure, the Chief Justice urged advocates to follow the SOP strictly.
"Finding fault with registry for non-listing is certainly not the way", he said.
As per the SOP, advocates are to send email to the registry which is first verified and then placed before the Chief Justice for deciding on urgency of the matter. Hundreds of emails are received everyday by the high court on a daily basis.