Today, we are here with Adv. K. K. Manan, a well known criminal lawyer with more
than 35 years of experience. Adv. K K. Manan is the present Chairman of Bar Council of
Delhi. He is holding this position for the second time. He is famous for his bold and witty
arguments in the court room. Let us have a sneak preview into the life of this lawyer.
Hello Manan Sir! I welcome you on behalf of LAWyersclubindia
Sir, my first question to you is: Recent developments have indicated that the judicial
autonomy is at stake. What is your opinion on NJAC vs Collegium. Which is better?
You see, the autonomy of the judiciary can't be and was never at stake because it is
an independent judiciary and there are 3 organs of the Constitution, especially of the
democracy of this country - Executive, Legislative and the Judiciary. Judiciary is absolutely
an independent organ and pillar of the democracy. So, question does not arise that the
autonomy of the judiciary is at stake. So, I am of the considered view that there is no
question of judicial autonomy being at stake. Judiciary is an independent and a very strong
So, you are saying that this NJAC is a welcome step?
Oh yes. But still, more amendments are required in this because the State Bar Council, the
Bar Council of India - all these people haven't been taken into confidence and ultimately
the judges would be from the lawyers. And in the higher judiciary, i.e. the High Court or the honourable Supreme Court, the judges would either be elevated from the High Court or
from the Senior Lawyers or leading lawyers. I am of the considered view that the Legislature
and the Parliament should have taken into consideration that the participation of the State
Bar Councils or the Bar Council of India or the High Court Bar Associations of different High
Courts should have been there.
You are serving as the Chairman of Bar Council of Delhi for the second time. So what is
your vision for this tenure and how different it is from 2007 and now in 2014?
There is no such difference. I was not only the Chairman of Delhi Bar Council, I have also
been the President of New Delhi Bar Association thrice. Earlier, I was the Chairman so it
is not a new thing for me. I always put in an effort to enhance the prestige of the lawyers'
fraternity. I was young when I joined the Bar and wanted to be a good lawyer under the
guidance of a senior. Likewise, I want that the young lawyers should be imparted good
etiquettes. They should behave properly in the courts, they should wear the robe and
they should be in a proper dress in the court. You will find that in the trial courts, so many
lawyers do not wear a robe, which is not good. I will advise them-
1. That they should be, atleast from 10 to 4, in the proper dress.
2. That the lawyers should not fight unnecessarily in the courts. Lawyers who indulge
in such activities; Bar Council and the Bar Association Board, both will together, take
action against them, if they are found guilty. If the judges will misbehave with them,
then the Delhi Bar Council will also take up the matter to the Hon'ble Chief Justice of the
Delhi High Court. Bench & Bar are two wheels of one chariot.
It is my view. It's the view of our forefathers of this fraternity, so my total concentration
would be on the point, that we should maintain decorum of the courts, we should be
in the robes always and in proper dress in the court as well as we should make the
atmosphere in courts a congenial atmosphere. There should not be any unnecessary
strikes. We, lawyers, are being defamed by people that we go on strike too often.
We are not fond of going on strike but issues are such that sometimes, the lawyers
are compelled to go on strike. Firstly, matters should be sorted on the table, if that is
not possible, then authorities should be given time and only under compulsion, if it's
required, then definitely we would go on strike.
What kind of legal reforms are required in our country?
The Hon'ble Supreme Court and various Hon'ble High Courts have already taken steps
to create a good atmosphere and provide good infrastructure in the court premises.
Infrastructure doesn't mean good buildings. For that purpose, we require the co-
operation between Bench and Bar.
Sir, Recently the question of 365 days of working of courts has been raised and people
have different opinions on that. What are your views as the Chairman of Delhi Bar
To decide the cases, especially in a criminal justice system, my view is that to make the
criminal justice system a success in this country, we need reforms in the criminal justice
system. On the prosecution side, good prosecutors should be appointed, they should
also work hard, they should prepare their cases thoroughly and the no. of prosecutors
should also be increased for efficient and speedy justice. You will find that the numbers
of prosecutors are less in the courts. The police should also investigate the matter in
a fixed time frame and a good investigating officer should know the latest techniques,
technologies and scientific evidences.
I will not withhold my views. Investigating agencies are mostly corrupt. They indulge in
corrupt practices and they don't investigate the matter in a proper manner. Either, they
do not know the law or they do not know how to investigate the matter. A few corrupt
people can destroy the whole system. Now, you see, in the rape cases, the Hon'ble SC and
the legislature have made amendments in the IPC and CrPC and have devised regulations
regarding lady inspectors and lady investigating officers. But as far as Delhi is concerned, I
have found that no good lady inspectors / lady investigating officers are there to investigate
the rape cases, except a very few. To investigate the crime against women, they should be
properly trained; training should be provided every six months, they should investigate the
matter scientifically and chargesheets should be filed in a fixed time frame. So, the accused,
if innocent, can be acquitted. If not, then justice should be done to the victim as soon as as
It is not possible. It is not practical because human body requires rest. Firstly, we should
increase the strength of the judges. Secondly, other settlement methods which have
been adopted, should be effectively implemented. For instance, evening courts are not
working properly. Mediations, somehow, it's working.
In mediations, one thing should be there - if the case has been settled through
mediation and later on, the party breaches the agreement or backtracks, then, I
think, the act should amount to contempt because they have wasted the time of the
Adv. K. K. Manan
Chairman, Bar Council of Delhi
And as far as 365 days working is concerned, I'd again say, its not at all practical. If I have
to prepare a case for tomorrow, say 4 cases in 4 different courts, can I manage that?
No, it's not possible. I can manage maximum 2 cases daily. Judges also will not be able
to cope up with the system of 365 working days because they have to go through bulky
files, they have to hear the arguments, thereafter, apply the judicial mind and dictate
the judgement also. So, their brain also requires rest.
You have more than 35 years of experience in criminal law. So, I want to know what
type of moral & ethical dilemmas, you, being a criminal lawyer face?
Sometimes, we know that the person has committed the murder.
Now, the question is - why, how and under what circumstances we are defending.
Continuing the same, there must be a lot of pressure when you take up a case? Media
pressure is also there and sometimes media trials also happen. So, how do you cope
up with that stress?
Sometimes our conscience also pricks - but again, money talks.
Frankly speaking, there is greed. Not only with me, but every human being has some
influence of greed over him. We are not saints. Even saints are not saints these days!
So, sometimes there is dilemma, but not always. There are also cases where a person is
falsely/wrongly implicated and we are unable to get him justice because where there is
fabrication in the case, that case is more dangerous than the routine. Sometimes, our
conscience pricks and sometimes I even refuse to accept cases, like I don't accept the
case of extortion, prostitution, pick-pocketing. Few cases are such that I don't want to take up, like kidnapping and murder but somehow one has to do the case. If the defence
lawyer is not engaged, then the court will provide Amicus. But they shouldn't go without
any defence. So, to get the justice, he will be given an opportunity by the court itself. So,
sometimes conscience pricks but not usually and always.
Sometimes media help the court, help the investigating agencies and ultimately help
the society at large. But sometimes, where the news is planted and the reporter or the
channel is biased, that is not good. In most of the cases, harsh reality is that, the true
facts are not reported because the reporter does not know the law. I don't want to
mention the name of the case, in a very famous Jodhpur case, I was the counsel, but I do
not want to comment much as the case is pending in the court.
What would be your message to our members/young lawyers?
I found that the media has played a role which was negative and the same prejudiced
the mind of the court, which is not good. Though, judges don't get affected so far as
media reports are concerned but somehow, it affects. After all, judges are also human
beings! They are not aliens, they are not the gods and they are also made by gods on the
There have been instances where the investigating agencies have failed and I can say that
the media brought the full and true facts before the society, like that famous rape case in
Delhi, after which the amendments in rape laws were made. If the media wouldn't have
been there, lot of cases would have gone under the carpet. Hats off!
And credit goes to the police too.
Investigating agencies are still taking rape cases lightly. A number of Rape cases are filed
as a result of breach of promise to marry. Investigating agencies don't take such cases
seriously, rather they make mockery of such cases. I fail to understand, sometimes feel
pity. But, still I will say for criminal justice system, investigating agencies' role is bigger than
anybody else's. Investigating agency will collect the material and place on record. Thereafter
only the wisdom of the judge will work. Good judges can smell the file and they will come to
know the reality, but not all of them can.
Work hard, be honest and don't indulge in any illegal practices. You may get the reward
late, but late is always better than hurry because in a hurry, accidents are always
predictable and they will happen. Otherwise have patience. You will take time 2 , 3 or 5
years maybe, but if your luck is with you, hardwork will pay you ultimately and you will
be a successful and leading lawyer of the country.
I thank you, Manan Sir, again. It was very insightful, wonderful talking to you and I
hope our members and budding lawyers will learn a lot from this interview. Thanks a
Comments on this Interview
[Scorecard : 37 ]
09 October 2016
" Hi Sir
I had purchased a flat from a builder which serial number is B1. During purchase the builder had confirmed the flat is free from all the dues and the same had been mentioned on the registry copy also. Based on the registry copy, one nationalized bank has given the housing loan to me.
Later another nationalized bank had pasted a notice on my flat door that the flat number A1 has been mortgaged (before I purchased the flat) by the builder and due to non-repayment of the loan, the bank will auction the flat. We approached the bank to inform them that they have pasted the notice on the wrong door (my flat serial number is B1) as A1 flat is my neighbor flat. But the bank confirmed that as per the location on the mortgage registry copy, it’s my flat and serial number does not matter.
Then we approached to the builder and he confirmed that he had taken a loan by fudging the document. Now on following up with builder and he is saying he does not have money.
We have filed a FIR under section 420 against the builder and charge sheet has been filed. But seems builder has some political influence so there is not much progress in my case.
What should we do to make a progress in the case?
As builder’s sons worked in MNCs what the action taken be taken against them?
Looking for your help and contact t o discuss the case in detail,'
[Scorecard : 13958 ]
16 October 2014
" Nice one "
Ram Niwas Goel
[Scorecard : 36 ]
14 October 2014
" " Advocate Manan has really brought out candid answers to your well put questions; Mr. Mannan is a wellknown bold orator. As chairman BCD he must also curb / act against routine / casual identifications of fake / forged signatures of DEPONENTS by members of his fratenity / BCD? Secondly, can some guidelines for REASONABLENESS of Advocates' fees be prescribed to be used as benchmark for suffering hapless poor litigants, generally getting fleeced by SOME Advocates ? Some kind of MRP ? ""
Surrender K Singal
[Scorecard : 3114 ]
29 September 2014
" LCI has really brought out candid answers to your well put questions; Mr. Mannan is a known bold orator. Can he, as Chairman BCD curb / act against routine / casual identifications of fake / forged signatures of DEPONENTS by members of his fratenity / BCD? Secondly, can some guidelines for REASONABLEness of Advocates' fees be prescribed to be used as benchmark for suffering hapless poor litigants, generally getting fleeced by Advocates ? Some kind of MRP ? "
[Scorecard : 107 ]
27 September 2014
" Dear Adv.Manan,
Well done, Wish you all the best.
[Scorecard : 134 ]
24 September 2014
" Great :)"