Legally Inclined

Law is a set of rules that a society adheres to and those who are given the responsibility of interpreting the legislations for the common man are known as ‘lawyers’. The deteriorating legal framework and the questionable stance adopted by the judiciary has been a matter of concern for long. This write up would abstain from the rhetoric questioning the judiciary and would adhere to an altered track.

Courtesy - The Hindu

Once considered a respectable profession, today the perception of a lawyer has disfigured into ambiguity of stone-pelting and resentful rebellions. The recent clash between lawyers and media persona at Bangalore is not a lone incident. The credibility of the foundation stone of the legal framework in our country has been under heavy disparagement for long. The vilification of any other profession might not have repercussions as abysmal as this particular occupation due to the withering faith of the populace in the justice dispensing mechanism.

The incident in Bangalore initiated around 10.30 am when Gali Janardhana Reddy was produced in court. An initial brawl between media persons and lawyers regarding biased reporting by media persons soon multiplied into a full-fledged war. By noon 32 cops – including a deputy commissioner of police – 10 journalists and seven lawyers were injured. The Deputy Commissioner of Police was hit by a projectile targeted toward by the lawyers and the journalists suffered injuries accompanied by sabotaging of their OB (Outdoor Broadcasting) vehicles and camera equipment.

On a comparative scale this was a minor incident of attorneys indulging in violence and it is not that solicitors prefer to attack media persons. On March 11, 2008, lawyers of the local civil courts and the employees of Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corp (UPSRTC) came to blows on the streets of Lucknow. The clash left one lawyer and several employees injured. Stones were hurled from both sides and clearly the UPSRTCemployees were at the receiving end until the police arrived and brought the situation under control.

Courtesy - Satish Acharya

The incident on September 3, 2004 is enough to ridicule public prosecutors. A minor collision between a Honda City belonging to a lawyer and an Army truck escalated into a ‘mini war’ with Lucknow policemen cornering and beating up lawyers, bringing the city to a halt. The ripples spread much further, with lawyers going on indefinite strike across Uttar Pradesh and suspending work even in Delhi and Chennai. More than 50 persons were injured and then Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav had asked a retired SC judge to probe the episode. In the confusion, the lawyers even smashed the car of the State’s Advocate General Virendra Bhatiaand his guard had to fire in the air to rescue him.

It is not that legal eagles have a penchant for clashing with the law enforcers. Interestingly, on November 23, 2011 lawyers went on a rampage at the district court in Colonelgunj, Allahabad. The conflict originated with a group of lawyers telling fellow lawyers to boycott the court of civil judge, west, Deepak Yadav. This led to an altercation between the two lawyers’ factions. Subsequently the group opposing Yadav went on a rampage. They raised slogans and broke the flower pots and window panes.

The purpose of citing the following examples is not to highlight the violent streak that lawyers have been on in our country but to raise a thought. It is shocking that those who sustain their livelihood by means of the book do not recall it prior to resorting to violence. Has the state of legal remedies in our country degraded to the extent to dissolution?

There maybe those who defend the legal institutions and fellow lawyers by stating that only a fraction of these bright minds is involved in such activities. But no matter how small the number, their actions are degrading the belief in the lawyer community and eventually in the law itself.

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6 thoughts on “Legally Inclined

  1. if lawyers don’t respect the law ,then who will?but then again nor do the law makers ….so all in all this situation will lead to chaos ,the true problem lies in the lack of patience and false ego developing in the people today.Especially those who think they can wriggle out of law’s reach by the knowledge of law.

  2. more of facts…..less of TWESHism this time…..may be because it was of ‘news’ category.
    kuch aur dhajiya udaate kaale-coat wali jmaat ki toh aur prabhavi hota

  3. What I am going to write comes from my half baked knowledge but here I go..I truly believe that the constitution of India is a framework that allows politicians the maximum amount of freedom that is possible without being subject to public ridicule…I say this because I have started noticing that most news channels, erring party’s and some of my own colleagues bring about this argument that the power of the constitution supersedes all. What I think is that the constitution was made by our forefathers who’s reputations have long been hidden under a cloak of history.For eg Nehru.The man responsible for dividing a nation into 2 because of his differences with Jinnah(alleged). I believe that there were certain considerations taking into account whilst the birth of the constitution that allowed for politicians of those time to enjoy certain liberation’s. Our constitution may be the best in the world but that does not mean it is the absolute possible best for the people of this great country.Today anything that threatens to topple the government is treated with hostility by the same and anything that is unlawfully accomplished by that same threat is promptly ”brought to justice”..But when the same is done by the government in power then there remains no authority to challenge these allegations.This is where the Justice system of India comes in and goes out straight without a whimper.Blatant abuse of the constitution and it’s flawed laws can only lead to stone pelting and belittling their own brethren.What takes place today in our democracy is a 3 way match between the Political system, The Justice system and the Media..and the result is that everyone in our country from a common auto-wallah to a Ratan Tata loses faith in the system.But I think that the main culprit towards this state of affairs, to a major extent is our flawed constitution.

  4. can’t agree more with Mohit. u have set a benchmark for yourself with your previous blogs, this one doesn’t live upto the expectation.

  5. Another wonderful writie-up
    Except in few instances, most time Judiciary has failed to live up to the citizen’s expectations. It is common phrase that courts and kacheris are for rich only. Poor doesn’t even need to go near it. While it sounds good hear that courts preaches morality to govt and its functionaries. But what about its own responses to allegations of corruption in Judiciary? Classic example is case of slapping ‘Contempt’ charges against SC Lawyer Prashanth Bhushan and his father. Bribery allegations are still to be settled against Punjab HC judge(s). The list can go on. Not much to say positives about lower courts. SCs own observation of UP HC is another point in case.
    there are numerous examples,like
    1) Setting Chidambaram free , despite of having all evidences against him.
    2) Saying that Setalvad was victimized, albeit HC ruling against her,and no evidences against Modi.
    3) Holding Baba Ramdev responsible for the heinous crimes committed by the Delhi police. The Havoc like situation that was created at Ramlila Maidan was purely handcrafted by the Govt. Of India.
    We require judicial reforms to free the judiciary from the clutches of corruption!

  6. The proportionality between legal luminaries and vandalism is definitely on the rise but what is more worrying is the presence of humongous nepotism in the judicial fraternity. One of the biggest reasons for the entry of hooliganistic elements in the legal system was the abandoning of the erstwhile entrance exams (which wannabe advocates were required to give and crack after graduating to obtain the license for practicing in courts) conducted by the Bar Council. This has obviously been reinstated now but since the exam did not take place for many decades, all the people who somehow managed to garner law degrees from various colleges and universities were given the liberty to practice as advocates. No filtration mechanism was in place. This took a toll on the functioning of law courts across India. Pseudo-lawyers who graduated from private colleges, other bogus universities and who were in a habit of undertaking rampages soon started staging innumerable strikes and paralyzed courts everywhere. They categorically targeted professionals from other backgrounds who dared to cross swords with them. Globalization and integrated law courses further damaged the Judiciary. Getting degrees became far more easier as many law institutions mushroomed and the glamorous pay packages of the private sector (which were made possible by the 1991 reforms relating to Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization) attracted people greatly. People of genuine claibre opted to work as legal advisers for corporations because of the lucrative salaries. These individuals were vary of the nepotism and favouritism existing in the legal system. Some families had developed and still have virtual legal monopolies. People who did not have a judicial background had to work very hard to get an opportunity to represent clients in courts. For years they had to work as unpaid juniors to local legal stalwarts. All those young lawyers whose father or mother happened to be advocates used to get cases easily because of their parents presence but the other ones were left literally unemployed. The faulty mechanism of appointing judges further facilitated nepotism, favouritism and dynastism as the son of a judge becoming a judge became a tradition and a common practice. People with considerable academic record moved over to the private sector because of a visible better scope and financial stability whereas the discarded ones, the ones who were not that good in academics and those who did not have the required legal acumen or aptitude took up the task of donning the mantle of private practitioners in law courts. This happened to be another reason for the downfall in the quality of legal professionals.

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