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Who takes pity on poor lawyers!

Who takes pity on poor lawyers!
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Who takes pity on poor lawyers!

Highlights

Unfortunately, the current situation in judiciary and its torch-bearers, called the advocates is to say the least, is pathetic! In all-pervading chaos, the lawyers and the courts at large are at the receiving end

Unfortunately, the current situation in judiciary and its torch-bearers, called the advocates is to say the least, is pathetic! In all-pervading chaos, the lawyers and the courts at large are at the receiving end. To prove this point we have not to go far behind history, but the recent unsavoury incidents are enough to conclude in such a manner.

It is of the common knowledge that advocate fraternity, otherwise painted mostly in black not just because its members do wear the black coat and the black gown, but the general tendency prevailing in the society and commercial filmdom is responsible for such a mindset , has been struggling to keep its home fire burning. The on-going Covid-19 pandemic might have just provided one more reason for such a state of affairs but the fact is that this noble profession of late, has been 'cornered' only by a few powerful law firms and their supporters.

According to a rough estimate, out of approximately 17 lakh practising advocates in the country only about 50,000 have an earning of more than Rs.20,000 per month considered to be enough just to manage hand to mouth a small family of three! Still barring a few exceptions, the advocates by large are perceived as a greedy, manipulating, fleecing and exploiting clan. This has resulted into the grouse against the entire legal fraternity by the people at large and most of the litigants in particular. The lawyers are shunned by prospective brides and their parents, house owners who are on the look out of tenants, banks offering loans and what not.

The history is replete with a number of instances when the lawyers and their families were criminally intimidated, harassed, insulted, assaulted and even killed brutally by the disgruntled parties. The recent incident of an assault on one Rajendra Sharma, an advocate in Etah, Uttar Pradesh should be an eye-opener. While hearing the matter on January 19, the division bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saurabh Shamshery expressed anguish over the incident and inter alia, formed an issue as to "whether the Advocates Act, 1961 extends any privilege to an advocate for being not taken any coercive action by the police against him, if he is in prescribed robes."

In fact, this incident has generated a lot of heat among legal circles so much so the Uttar Pradesh State Bar Council too, had sent a sealed envelope to the Court requesting to get the entire matter investigated by an independent agency like Central Bureau of Investigation or Crime Branch of CID. Even the Bar Council of India has already issued a statement condemning the police assault on advocate Rajendra Sharma and harassment and humiliation to the lawyer's family.

Indeed, this is a sorry state of affairs where the beholder of the Rule of Law has been targeted by the dedicated police force which is entrusted with the task of maintaining the law and order. It is regrettable that instead of working with lawyers in tandem some ill-informed policemen nurture hostility towards them. The growing tendency of showing disregard to the noble profession of advocacy will destroy the very fabric of democracy in which freedom, liberty and equality are assured to each and every citizen. In such an alarming scenario, there is an urgent need either to incorporate provisions for the safety and security of the lawyers and their families in the Advocate Act, 1961 or enact a separate enactment towards this end.

AP-HC GREEN SIGNAL FOR ELECTIONS

In a major development, the Andhra Pradesh High Court has given a go ahead to the State Election Commission to conduct the Gram Panchayat elections. A division bench of high court comprising the Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice C Praveen Kumar in an appeal filed by the State Election Commission against the stay order granted by a single Judge bench held that the order dated January 8 issued by the A P State Election Commission notifying the election schedule for local bodies need not be interfered with and the facts and circumstances of the case does not warrant suspension of the said order.

Initially, the writ petition was filed by the State government contending, inter alia, that as the mass corona vaccination programme is going on in the State, it is not proper to hold local bodies' elections now. Apart from the legal nitty-gritty, however, it is of the common knowledge that the State administration is seemingly at the loggerheads with the present Election Commissioner who has forced his way after the court's intervention much against the wishes of the incumbent Chief Minister. Hence, it leaves no stone unturned!

A CLASSIC CASE OF POLICE APATHY

Hell broke out on Narendra Singh and Najma when they found that their minor children, a son a daughter who must be now of the 10 and 8 we are last in the oblivion. When after the five years long trial and tribulation they were released from a prison in Agra. The couple was picked up on mere suspicion of their involvement in murder of a five-year-old boy from village Bah in 2015. When it is ironical that the couple who was totally innocent had to face police brutalities and above all its two kids a boy and the girl of five and three years of age then had become orphan.

In its scathing order releasing the couple, the additional district and session court came down hammer and tongs on the police to which had imprisoned the innocent couple while the real criminals were at large.

Call it a travesty of justice or police excesses or leave it sheer to ill fate of the couple, the fact is that all is not well with the society. For no fault of theirs the innocent kids and their parents have had to suffer ignobility and loss of identity for all these five years. While it will be appropriate to dismiss the cops responsible for such an in human act and put them behind the bars, the State owes a responsibility to the unfortunate family to compensate heavily in terms of money and other facilities besides tracing the missing children and restoring their custody to the parents.

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