K.T. Sangameswaran

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the Chairman of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu to implement the council rules strictly for upholding the dignity and decorum of the profession of advocacy.

A Division Bench of Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and R. Subbiah quoted a rule of the Bar Council of India, which required that the signboard or nameplate or stationery of an advocate not indicate that he was or had been associated with any person or organisation or with any particular cause or matter. “It is rather painful to note that some members of the noble profession are printing their photographs in the huge hoardings of political leaders, virtually at the feet of such political leaders, indicating that they are associated with such political leaders, further more amounting to publicity, which is prohibited under Rule 36.” The violation of the mandatory provisions of the BCI rules should be viewed seriously, it said, and the State Bar Councils should take strict action against such advocates. The Bench made the observation while dismissing a habeas corpus petition, in which petitioner S. Sengkodi, a practising advocate, sought the release of her client Sundaramoorthy who, she said, was detained by the authorities illegally. Discussing the maintainability of the petition, the Bench said that in the absence of any provision permitting advocates to stepping into the shoes of their clients as a ‘party interested,’ and in the absence of any pleading by the petitioner about what necessitated her to do so when, admittedly, the detenu had blood relatives to champion his cause, it was not in a position to accept the plea of the petitioner that she could maintain this petition. The judges said they were unable to find any legal flaw committed by the authorities so as to brand Sundaramoorthy’s arrest and production in court as illegal.