11 Oct 2022 1:26 PM GMT
Observing that lawyers are expected to always address the court with deference, the Delhi High Court has said that mutual respect between the bench and bar is essential for a vibrant legal system."Counsel are, on all occasions, expected to address the Court with deference and respect. Mutual respect between Bench and Bar is the indispensable sine qua non for a vibrant and vigorous legal system...
Observing that lawyers are expected to always address the court with deference, the Delhi High Court has said that mutual respect between the bench and bar is essential for a vibrant legal system.
"Counsel are, on all occasions, expected to address the Court with deference and respect. Mutual respect between Bench and Bar is the indispensable sine qua non for a vibrant and vigorous legal system to function," Justice C Hari Shankar observed.
However, the court also said an adverse remark against a counsel in the judicial order can have serious and far-reaching consequences.
"Courts should abjure from entering such remarks or exhibiting needless sensitivity about utterances by Counsel in Court. Often, in the heat of arguments, the language used by Counsel may not be most circumspect. The Court is expected to be alive and sensitive to this fact. A brotherly word of advice, across the Bar, is often all that is required on such occasions.," said Justice Shankar.
The court was dealing with a plea challenging an order passed by an Additional District Judge dated August 27, 2022 in a civil suit. The petition also sought expunging of remarks made by the trial court against the plaintiff's lawyer in the order.
Before the trial court, the appellant (plaintiff in the suit) had relied upon some documents which were stated to be diary entries regarding payment received by the defendant. However, the defendant was not given any notice before filing of the suit.
The trial court had then questioned the petitioner about authenticity of the documents, adding that why notice be issued to the defendant when only photocopies of the documents were produced. The court had also asked about limitation.
According to the trial court order, the lawyer on hearing the judge's queries said "he is shocked and surprised to hear this".
The trial court in its order recorded: "In my considered opinion, the use of such words does not behove to an advocate and an advocate is supposed to answer the query raised by the Court."
Justice Shankar said the plea against the trial court order is essentially premature as the impugned order merely seeks a response from the petitioner's counsel regarding certain queries posed by the trial court.
"There is no question of this Court interfering at this stage of the proceedings, under Article 227 of the Constitution of India. It would be for learned Counsel to satisfy the learned ADJ regarding the queries raised by him," Justice Shankar said.
However, Justice Shankar noted that the ADJ has entered "certain adverse comments about the language used" by the counsel.
The lawyer before the HC bench expressed unconditional apology for not having addressed the court in an appropriate fashion and undertook that such an occurrence would not recur.
"It cannot be said … that, in expressing "shock and surprise" at the query posed by the learned ADJ, the learned Counsel conformed to the most appropriate standards of legal discourse. The apology tendered at the Bar is, therefore, accepted," the court said.
It added "That said, however, I am of the opinion that the language used by the learned Counsel was not so objectionable as to have invited adverse remarks against the Counsel."
With the aforesaid observations, the court expunged the adverse comment made against the petitioner's counsel in the impugned order.
Title: SH. PAWAN KUMAR KAKARIA v. ANIL KUMAR RAI & ANR
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 951
Click Here To Read Order