‘High Court should call for a report from the New Delhi Bar Association’

Shocked, offended and angered by the report of skin show and vulgar dance performances at Patiala House court complex during a “Holi Milan” organised by the New Delhi Bar Association, senior lady lawyers on Friday said the High Court should take suo motu cognizance of the same and call for a report from the lawyers’ body on the demeaning incident.

“The High Court should take suo motu cognizance of this report. A report should be asked from the senior most judge of the Patiala House and from the Bar Association on this,” senior advocate Rebecca John told The Hindu.

“As a member of the Bar, as a woman, as a lawyer, I feel offended. It is absolutely shocking. It is shocking because we are the upholders of law. I am deeply personally very saddened, offended and horrified that something like this has happened,” Ms John said.

On The Hindu report, a displeased senior advocate Kamini Jaiswal said: “I think it is necessary for such things to be brought to light.”

She condemned the incident which she insisted was in “a poor taste in a court of law”.

“In a trial court you have people who are sent to the gallows or wrongly incarcerated, you have families of victims and all sorts of people. It is demeaning to all of them. I think Patiala House court’s head judge should issue show-cause notice to the Bar Association,” Ms. Jaiswal said.

Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal, who was the chief guest at the event, had said he left the venue before any of this had started and did not know that such a dance programme was also scheduled.

To this, Ms. Jaiswal said, “When a Law Minister is attending a function, one finds out what kind of function is it. How can he not know?”

To the rising view in the society that lawyers can do anything and not get caught, Ms. Jaiswal said, “That is the most unfortunate part. Lawyers should be leading by example. Using a court of law for such a function is bad. Now I have heard that they (Bar members) are pressurising women lawyers not to speak anything about the incident.”

“You have to draw a line somewhere. When you go to the court of law, you have to dress in a particular manner, you have to behave properly. You can’t just go like any way you want.”

Senior Advocate Pinky Anand was similarly miffed at the incident.

“It is unprofessional, very unprofessional. To have such an event in the court complex is itself very wrong. Legal profession is very sacred, there are professional and moral ethics attached to it and such a conduct is not befitting. You have to maintain the dignity of the profession, dignity of the women.”

“What do you do in private space is different. What has happened in a public place in a public event, that too in a setting like court is totally unprofessional,” she said.

Government counsel Meera Bhatia shared similar sentiments as she said: “I don't approve of any such performance in court premises. Sanctity of court premises has to be maintained and whatever musical/ cultural programme has to be done should be very sacrosanct. I wasn't present in the court when the performance happened but from whatever I have heard and read about it, I don't think it was the right thing.”

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