Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen on Friday said, “It cannot be appreciated that the Bar Association should boycott any court if the decision or verdict is not to their liking.”
“It was indeed heartening to note that a large number of advocates appeared in my court on June 12, 2012,” said Chief Justice Sen while replying to the farewell he was given by the court and the Karnataka State Bar Council on Friday before the court closed for winter vacation till December 31. He is tipped for elevation as a judge of the Supreme Court prior to his superannuation as a judge of the High Court on December 31.
The Advocates’ Association, Bangalore, had given a call to boycott his court on June 12 to protest against the alleged “failure of the Chief Justice” in initiating proper action with regard to the March 2 violence at the City Civil Court Complex.
Chief Justice Sen had in April recused himself from hearing a public interest litigation petition (PIL) by the association on court violence and another Bench in May had rejected association plea for a CBI probe into the incident.
He said the advocates who appeared before his court in different cases on June 12 “exemplified great industry in preparation and have been lucid and succinct in their submissions,” and that “incidents such as these [June 12] galvanise judges to give their very best in the performance of their duties. I have been ever mindful of the oath of office to which I have sworn adherence on my elevation as a High Court judge. I have consciously endeavoured not to harbour any bias or ill-will, and equally favouritism, to any person, be it a member of the Bar or the litigant public. The larger part of my career has been spent as an advocate and therefore it is understandable that my sympathies remain with the Bar. However, that does not justify any undue favouritism to the Bar Association when a judicial verdict is to be rendered. It has been my belief that if partiality is shown to any party, it will not remain only a first time; it shall inexorably be followed by meting out similar treatment to others. Therefore, it cannot be appreciated that the Bar Association should boycott any court if the decision or verdict is not to their likes and wishes.” .
He also suggested that the High Court, the City Civil Courts, the Magistrates Courts, and the Mayo Hall Courts must have separate Bar Associations, whose membership should be extended only to practising lawyers. “This will liberate these associations from political pressures and will enable them to work purely as professional bodies,” the Chief Justice added.
Earlier, Karnataka State Bar Council chairman Muniyappa commended Chief Justice Sen’s verdicts, particularly those related to environmental issues, orders issued by suo motu taking up various issues of public importance, and of those who could not litigate by themselves.