- Lawyers have fought for providing justice to the people but they have also been responsible for various incidents that have led to chaos.
- The lawyers of the Awadh Bar Association have ambushed the voting area and caused damage to not only the process but also physical injury to fellow lawyers.
- There have been other instances in the history of legal profession where the behaviour of the lawyers has led to actions against them.
- The article discussed a few instances of rash behaviour of the lawyers, either in protesting or boycotting or even using physical violence.
Lawyers are the protectors or, we can say, the knights in black coats who fight to get us justice. There have been numerous instances where the lawyers have literally taken the matters into their own hands rather than letting law take its own process. The notion about the profession was that lawyers are a bunch of rowdy individuals who have taken up the profession because they could not take up any other profession. Even though this is a very big misconception held by people, but the actions of the lawyers have time and again brought this notion to the surface.
Be it the protests against some issue or be it tactics to get something done in their favour, advocates have taken extreme steps and this has been brought to light by the media personnel as to how the advocates, who are educated and well versed with the legal system, are becoming reasons of chaos in various incidents.
Awadh Bar Association
In a recent incident, the Allahabad High Court has taken suo moto cognizance of the unruly behaviour of the lawyers. The Awadh Bar Association election took place on 14 August which had to be cancelled due to the interference of the candidates for election. On the voting day, the candidates along with their supporters went to the voting area and tore the ballot papers and also misbehaved with the female lawyers. This action led to one of the lawyers being seriously injured with a fractured hand and another lawyer getting a heart attack.
The High Court then decided to take suo moto cognizance and expressed their pain and shock on such an incident that took place during the elections and that to by the lawyers. The Court asked the Senior Registrar to submit a report of the incident, including the videos, photographs and evidences that led to the cancellation of the election process.
Madurai District Bar Association
Three cases were registered against the Madurai District Bar Association’s office bearers for running an anti-helmet rally and protesting before the Madurai High Court Chief Justice’s bench with demands of Tamil being made an official language. Several letters were addressed to the Bar Council seeking action against the advocates. There was a constant fear that the courtrooms would be lamented by the lawyers. The State Bar Council was silent on the matter and thus this matter was brought to light, after which the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry took the decision to take a decision against the advocates.
Advocate Ravi Tukaram Damodar
The advocate had distributed pamphlets with allegations that the Judicial Magistrate had taken a bribe to give a decision against his clients and he conducted a hunger strike in front of the Collector’s Office. Banners with the name of the JM were put up containing allegations of her being involved in corruption.
The HC had convicted him for trying to use all tactics to delay the proceedings and these actions tend to lower the dignity of the Court. Even after notices of contempt of court were issued, he did not render an apology and tried to justify his actions stating that it was for securing justice to his client. He was charged with a fine for his actions.
Tamil Nadu Lawyer’s Protest
In 2009, when Tamils were being killed in Sri Lanka, the lawyers in all over Tamil Nadu were protesting and when the advocates were brought before the Magistrate, they refused to divulge their names and asked to fill the identity as ‘Prabhakaran’. More than 150 lawyers gathered and smashed the windscreens of the police vehicle and abused them. The Magistrate had to leave without remanding the advocates to custody. The lawyers boycotted courts in the State due to the failure of the State and the Central Government to pressurize the Sri Lankan Government to prevent the killing of Tamils in the country. The Chief Justice of the Madras High Court showed his concern over the incident on the unruly behaviour of the lawyers.
When we consider the actions of the lawyers to be such that it causes chaos in the society and in the court premises, it is very unsettling for the citizens to approach them for their issues. The lack of control over their emotions, disregard for the justice system and the rash actions of the lawyers does nothing to create a faith in the minds of the people but rather makes them more of goons than their protectors. If these actions are not stopped, then the day is not far when the legal profession would be considered to be the lowest kind of profession and no one would respect the profession.