The Bar Council of Tamil Nadu & Puducherry has suspended an advocate-couple from practicing for fifteen days, on the charge that they blocked the car of a judge of Madras High Court and entered into a verbal quarrel with his driver in public view.
The allegation is that on July 30 at about 9.40 AM, a car driven by advocate Sahul Hameed , in which his wife advocate Shika Sarmadan was also present, overtook the car in which a judge of High Court was travelling, after continuously blowing horn. After over-taking and stopping the judge's car, both of them allegedly scolded the driver of the judge in a filthy language. It was further alleged that on August 3, the lawyer couple went to the official residence of the judge and scolded the driver in front of the judge, when the driver was cleaning the car.
The Personal Security Officer of the judge made a complaint before the Bar Council about the incident on August 4. Acting on it, a three member Special Committee of the Bar Council consisting of Advocate General Vijay Narayan, Senior Advocate R Singaravelan and Advocate Chandrasekharan issued notice on August 6, imposing order of interim suspension stating " a necessity has arisen in public interest to place both of you under interim suspension of practice prohibiting you to practise in any Court or Tribunal or Quasi Judicial Tribunal within the territory of India until further orders to protect and uphold the confidence and faith of public on the Hon'ble Judges and Judiciary".
Charge memo has been served on them by the three member Special Committee, alleging that "they have brought total disrespect not only to the Hon'ble Judges of the High Court but to the entire lawyer community and made the judiciary and legal profession the subject matter of mockery". The Committee entered a prima facie finding that the allegations constitute "professional misconduct".
The notice made references to the Supreme Court decisions Harish Uppal v Union of India (2003) 2 SCC 45, Bar Council of Maharashtra v. M V Dhabolkara (1976) 2 SCC 291 and D.P Chadha v. Triyogi Narayan Misra (2001) 2 SCC 291 regarding the duty of an advocate to conduct himself in an honourable and noble manner.
The lawyer-couple have been asked to respond to the charges with suitable explanation within 15 days. The order has been communicated to the Registrar General of the Madras High Court.