"Ready to offer Judicial Academy premises for holding refresher courses for lawyers"
CHENNAI: Decrying the politicisation of the Bar, Chief Justice of the Madras High Court A.P. Shah said lawyers and judges must fight united any onslaught on the institution.
Mr. Justice Shah said the threat to the independence of the judiciary must be debated and countered effectively.
He was speaking after inaugurating a Madras Bar Association (MBA) library section, named after senior counsel N. Natarajan, on the court premises on Tuesday.
Responding to the senior advocate's concern at the lack of continuing education for practising lawyers, the Chief Justice said he was ready to offer the Tamil Nadu State Judicial Academy premises for holding refresher programmes for lawyers.
Classes could be offered separately for lawyers having up to five and 10 years of Bar experience. Judges were prepared to participate in the exercise.
Mr. Natarajan said he had a "disturbing feeling" that the judiciary was going down in public esteem. The dignity of the legal profession must be protected. Calling for continuing legal education for lawyers, he said the predicaments of lawyers should be addressed. Concurring with the views of the Chief Justice, Mr. Natarajan said lawyers should not go on strike; everything could be sorted out through discussion.
Senior advocate G. Masilamani congratulated Mr. Natarajan on his 50 years of exemplary legal practice and said he never succumbed to pressure from clients.
Senior counsel Habibullah Badsha said Mr. Natarajan was fair as prosecutor as well as defence counsel.
He filled the vacuum created by the departure of the doyens of the criminal bar in Chennai.
Justice R. Balasubramanian, who was described by Mr. Natarajan as "one of the finest judges of criminal law," said the senior advocate was a magnanimous person.
More accommodation sought
MBA president T.V. Ramanujun wanted more accommodation for the association, and said Court Hall No. 5 or 6 could be given to the MBA so that the library section could be expanded.