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Day after protest, Madras HC says rules for lawyers on hold

The Madras High Court's First Bench of Chief Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice R. Mahadevan by an interim order reiterated the judiciary’s position that implementation of the new Rules was kept in abeyance for all practical purposes. File photo  

A day after more than 3,000 lawyers from across the State attempted to lay siege to the Madras High Court seeking withdrawal of the amended Advocate Rules, the First Bench of Chief Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice R. Mahadevan by an interim order reiterated the judiciary’s position that implementation of the new Rules was kept in abeyance for all practical purposes.

“Practically the Rules are already in abeyance for the time being, as the deliberations before the (five-judge) Committee are in progress,” the Bench said on Tuesday, pointing out a similar position taken by the full bench of the court earlier last month.

However, despite the court’s order, the protesting lawyers showed no signs of a climbdown and maintained that they would continue their agitation till the Rules were withdrawn in toto.

The First Bench made the latest observations while hearing a PIL plea moved by an advocate seeking to install CCTV cameras in all the courts in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The petitioner also wanted the court to pass an interim order keeping in abeyance the implementation of the new Rules, which empowers judges to debar errant advocates, till the installation of CCTV cameras.

When the plea came up for hearing, the Bench said, “The prayer for keeping the Rules in abeyance has been answered in view of the said prayer being sub-served by the resolution of the Full Court dated June 16, followed by the clarification issued by the Registrar General through a press release dated July 23.

“Thus in view of the aforesaid, practically the Rules are already in abeyance for the time being, as the deliberations before the Committee are in progress.” As for the main prayer seeking direction for installation of CCTV cameras, the petitioner’s counsel contended that “installing CCTV cameras would put both the Bar and the Bench on equal footing. Neither the Bench nor the Bar can browbeat each other. This simple step would not only allay the fears of the advocates but would also go a long way in ensuring a transparent and healthy court atmosphere.”

The Bench said, “So far as the prayer is concerned for installing CCTV cameras, the High Court has already taken a decision favouring the same… given the exigency of the situation, we would like the Advocate General to obtain instructions if funds for installing CCTVs in all District Courts in the State can be implemented on an urgent basis…” The Bench then posted the PIL to August 3 for further hearing.






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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 11:42:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Day-after-protest-Madras-HC-says-rules-for-lawyers-on-hold/article14509748.ece

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