Judges Sitting on High Thrones Should Not Insult Lawyers: MP HC Bar Association President
Ratna Singh (Bar  and  Bench) 31 May 2024
President of the Madhya Pradesh High Court Bar Association, Jabalpur DK Jain recently delivered a scathing speech criticising judges who take it as their "right" to disrespect advocates. 
 
While speaking at a farewell ceremony held for Chief Justice (CJ) Ravi Malimath, Jain took the opportunity to urge judges to not consider lawyers as inferior to them.
 
"I request the honorable judges sitting on high thrones in all the courts of the country with folded hands that they should not make the mistake of insulting the advocates who come to their courts to seek justice for the common people," (rough translation from Hindi) Mr Jain said. 
 
Mr Jain observed that a person does not achieve greatness merely by virtue of the high position they occupy, and that greatness has to be demonstrated through action. 
 
"Therefore, I humbly request all of you honourable judges that you should not consider the lawyers who have come to provide justice to the common people as inferior and lesser than you," Mr Jain said.
 
Mr Jain added judges should be receptive to change if the Bar shows a mirror to the judiciary, to point out shortcomings in judicial proceedings.
 
"Our country is seeing that the officers are involved in corruption and the country's leaders have become the crown of corruption and the judges are also busy setting new records. In such a situation, our Bar, which is actually the representative of the common people in the courts, is the mirror of the court's proceedings," Mr Jain said.
 
Being the head of the judicial family, it is necessary for judges to carry out reforms, but such work will be judged by the common people themselves, Mr Jain emphasised.
 
"If there is any lack of enthusiasm in getting justice to the common people due to the working style of the honourable judges and advocates, then it is necessary to improve the same," he added. 
 
Mr Jain also referred to allowances given to judges, while commenting on the disproportionate returns that lawyers may expect in the pursuit of justice for the common man.
 
"In return for doing justice to the people and protecting the constitution, judges get salary, allowances, car, bungalow, security, pension etc. like the common people and they should get it. Whatever can be given in exchange for providing justice to the people is less. But the lawyers who work hard to get justice for the common man, if there is any error in the decision due to lack of understanding of the judges, they keep on appealing and arguing before the higher court until their client gets justice and in return for this, the lawyers do not get any salary, allowances, security, etc."
 
Notably, the same event saw the outgoing Chief Justice deliver an explosive farewell speech moments later.
 
In his speech, Justice Malimath said that he was proud to have made enemies because he chose to answer to the Constitution instead of his detractors. 
 
"I have a lot of enemies and I'm proud of that. I answer to the Constitution and to no other person...There are people who have spent months and years trying to negatively affect my career, they have failed miserably, because I have undertaken what no other Chief Justice or judge in the country has been able to undertake. They will never be able to rival my accomplishments, no matter how hard they try...I choose to serve the Constitution. I choose to do the right thing even at my cost, because that it what is expected of a judge," Justice Malimath said.
 
 
Former Madhya Pradesh High Court Chief Justice Ravi Malimath
 
In 2022, CJ Malimath had introduced the 25 debt scheme, an initiative to dispose of long-pending cases before the district courts. 
 
The scheme was opposed by lawyers in the State en masse. They went on strike, with the State Bar Council members even meeting the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud
 
Subsequently, a plea was filed in the High Court challenging the scheme. However, the same was dismissed by the Court, which said that it was a "sad day" for Madhya Pradesh.
 
This year in March, the former CJ's Bench had barred ten office bearers of the Bar Association at Seoni from appearing before any court for one month after they called for a strike.
 
However, the Bar challenged the High Court order in the Supreme Court and ultimately secured a stay.
 
Here is the speech by Mr Jain…
 
 
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