Kerala

Bar council intervenes in lawyer-magistrate standoff

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Plea by lawyer against magistrate hobbles reconciliation efforts

Efforts of the members of the Kerala Bar Council to achieve a detente in the stand-off between lawyers and judicial officers at the district court here on Tuesday appeared to have made little headway.

Senior lawyers said a petition filed by a woman advocate accusing magistrate Deepa Mohan of verbal abuse and assault had hobbled the efforts of the council to ease hostilities.

They said the complaint appeared to be a “frivolous” counter against Ms. Mohan after she accused a set of lawyers of storming her courtroom and preventing her from discharging her duties impartially.

The petition appeared to be an “after thought” to put Ms. Mohan on the defence.

Moreover, a letter from bar council seeking an explanation from Ms. Mohan for not having relinquished her enrolment at the Bar had also backfired on the reconciliatory effort.

A court official said Ms. Mohan had renounced her membership soon after she completed her judicial officer training. He said her superior judicial officers had backed her version of the chain of events in their confidential reports to the Registrar General of the High Court.

According to the official, Ms. Mohan was on leave, and it was unlikely the bar council members had met her.

However, the lawyer team from Kochi interacted with judges and members of the Bar.

The magistrate is at the centre of a controversy after the police booked 12 lawyers on Wednesday on the charge of having attempted to intimidate her into reviewing an order of hers cancelling the bail of a crime case suspect.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 10:00:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/bar-council-intervenes-in-lawyer-magistrate-standoff/article30156191.ece

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