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Advocate To Be A Gentleman, Honest, Principled And Obedient To Safeguard The Reputation Of This Profession

Advocates are a Noble profession and held in high esteem in the society. They are the harbingers of Law burdened with the responsibility of the enforcement of the Constitution. Their role in establishing Rule of Law is indeed laudable. But, if an advocate himself does not follow the orders of the Court and engages in blatant abuse of the process of law, he has to face the irk of the Court bringing bad name for the whole noble community. This has happened recently where due to shameful conduct of an advocate, the Madras High Court in C.M.P.No.6514 of 2020 in Tr.C.M.P.No.942 of 2019 on February 3, 2021 in the case of V.K.Kumaresan vs. P.Jayaseelan & Bar Council of Tamilnadu and Puducherry, Chennai, not only reprimanded an advocate, who happened to be the petitioner himself for disobedience but he was subjected to wrath, outrage & fury of the Bench.

The brief facts of the case are a Petition was filed under Order 9 Rule 10 & 13 r/w 151 of CPC to set aside the ex-parte order passed in Tr.C.M.P.No.942 of 2019 and C.M.P.No.25642 of 2019 passed by the High Court for non-appearance of the counsel for petitioner on 19.02.2020. The Court had heard the said Tr.C.M.P.No.942 of 2019 in detail on several occasions and after the conclusion of the argument on both side and had posted it for pronouncing orders on 19.02.2020.

On the said date, there was no appearance on behalf of the petitioner and the Court was forced to mark No Appearance for the petitioner in the order dated 19.02.2020. The Court vide it's said order had directed the Petitioner, who is an Advocate, to vacate the tenanted portion within 2 weeks. The Court was annoyed & hurt that the petitioner took one long year to comply with the said order of the High Court to vacate the tenanted portion and that too with the help of Police.

The Court expressed shock at the gross disobedience of its order by the petitioner advocate and observed thus:
However, this Court is of the view that the approach adopted by the petitioner / Advocate / Tenant in a clandestine manner to defeat the orders of this Court, is clear abuse of process of the Court. Under the pretext that a Review Application has been filed (may be true), this matter (Miscellaneous Petition) was dragged on by the petitioner to deceive the Court and the landlord, as the petitioner / tenant has not furnished either the SR number of the Review Application or the date on which the said Review Application was purported to have been filed to review the order in Tr.CMP., till the date of signing this order.

The Court admonished the Counsel for the petitioner for protecting the dishonest tenant and deprecating such practice observed thus:
Though it may be the duty of the Lawyer, viz., Sankarasubbu, learned counsel for the petitioner in this petition, to protect the dishonest tenant, namely, V.K.Kumaresan, Advocate, the way in which the matter was dragged on by the learned counsel for the petitioner in this petition, is not appreciated and is deprecated. This Court never expected Sankarasubbu, learned counsel for the petitioner in this petition to have protected the person like the petitioner herein, knowing well about his conduct on going through the order in the Tr.CMP. The petitioner / Tenant / Advocate, after knowing the mind of this Court, had also written a letter dated 17.02.2020 to the Hon'ble Chief Justice, apart from addressing it to the Registrar of this Court, thereby he attempted to adopt the tactics of forum shopping, which is purely an act of unbecoming of a lawyer, undermining the profession. By the time the letter could reach my hand, I had already pronounced the order on 19.02.2020 in Tr.CMP.''

The Court was so upset with the action of the petitioner that it ordered the Bar Council to take action against the petitioner / Advocate and proceed further for the misconduct on the complaint & held thus:

In case of issuance of any notice to the petitioner herein by the Bar Council, the enquiry shall be conducted on a day-to-day basis without adjourning the matter beyond three days at any point of time and bring the issue to a logical conclusion. It is also open to the 1st respondent herein to proceed against the petitioner in accordance with law.

The order of the High Court did not end here and further noted it's furore over the petitioner and remarked thus:
It is very saddening to note that it is a shame on the part of an Advocate to refuse to vacate the premises, when a landlord requires it and the Advocates are referred to as gentleman in the preamble to Chapter-II of the Bar Council of India Rules under Section 49(1)(c) of the Act read with the proviso thereto. In the present case on hand, the petitioner / Tenant has proved himself to be a wicked, dishonest and unprincipled person.

The Court further ordered that the counsel for Bar Council shall not be displaced by anyone from the Panel till a final decision is taken on the enquiry against the petitioner within the stipulated time. The Court also directed the Registry to send a copy of this order to MHAA, MBA and Women Lawyers' Association to inform the members of the respective Associations that they should not defend a dishonest Tenant like the deceitful petitioner who has disproved himself as a gentleman to safeguard the reputation of this profession. The High Court in the spate of anger and disturbed by the shameful & contemptuous attitude of the petitioner advocate commented on the poor & disturbing state of affairs of some of the advocates involved in cladestine deals & conduct unbecoming of the advocates and observed thus:

The Court thereafter Some of the Advocates are now-a-days looked at as Rowdies and third rate criminals by public by the conduct of similar to the one of the tenant in this case. It is painful to say that many of the Advocates are involved in the land grabbing and if the antecedent of the petitioner /tenant is verified, he may also be one of the land grabbers.

The general observations of the Court are harsh and with due respect to the Court, perhaps could have been avoided. However, it is a lesson for all advocates to honour & respect the orders of the Court and should live up to high ethics of this honourable profession.

Written By: Inder Chand Jain
Ph no: 8279945021, Email: [email protected]

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