Several people within the community of lawyers feel that the action of a handful among them is bringing disrepute to the entire fraternity as the widespread outrage over their behaviour at the City Civil Courts where the Special CBI court was sitting revealed on Friday.

However, most lawyers The Hindu spoke to were not willing to be quoted, fearing they would be ostracised by colleagues.

A senior lawyer, who openly condemned similar unruly behaviour of his colleagues in January this year, was insulted by others who observed a mock “death ceremony” by garlanding his photograph.

“Those who tend to take a different stand are seen as black sheep within the community,” said another veteran, who also did not wish to be named. “I have to face the consequences tomorrow; I am helpless. Anyone who protests is singled out. Unlike other professionals who may practise at different places, lawyers have to face each other in court.” He said “mob culture” had crept into the community with deep divides on caste and political party lines becoming the norm.

Journalists too

On the other hand, some television journalists were also critical of “retaliatory action” of their colleagues later in the evening. “Meeting goondaism with goondaism is exactly the wrong response. I heard that the journalists — or perhaps those posing as journalists — were hitting lawyers and torching their vehicles by late afternoon. We are in danger of losing our moral high ground by doing so,” said a senior journalist.

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