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.
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.
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.