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Taming of the bar

EXCERPTS from “The Other Side of Justice” by Justice S. S. Sodhi (Spectrum, May 27) should be an eye-opener for those who try to browbeat the judiciary. The verdict of the Supreme Court in the contempt of court proceedings against Mr V.C. Mishra, the then Chairman of the Bar Council of India, is a lesson for all lawyers especially for those who represent Bar Associations.

The arrogant behaviour of a lawyer in the court is unbecoming of a person engaged in this noble profession. The judgment is a reminder that the lawyers must remain within their limits while conducting cases in the courts.

The article was so engrossing that I read it till the end at a stretch. My sincere thanks to Justice Sodhi for giving minute details of the Mishra case. It was highly informative. All representatives of the bar must follow healthy traditions to maintain the dignity of their profession and respect of the court. Otherwise, they will be tamed like Mr Mishra. The Tribune deserves appreciation for publishing such an impressive and useful article.

HARISH AERY, Hoshiarpur


 

II

Excerpts from Justice S.S. Sodhi’s book, pertaining to an extraordinary case of clash between the bar and the bench of the Allahabad High Court, were interesting.

In an exemplary verdict of the apex court, conviction and sentence of Mr V.C. Misra, the then chairman of the Bar Council of India and president of the High Court Bar Association, for criminal contempt of court in view of displaying a propensity to browbeat, insult and disrespect a learned judge/judiciary, reaffirms the faith of the common man in the law of the land.

No one, howsoever influential or powerful he might be, should dare to be above the law or judiciary, which is supposed to perform its essential duties solemnly entrusted to it by the Constitution and the people to meet the ends of justice.

Mr Misra was sentenced to undergo simple imprisonment for a period of six weeks with the orders to remain suspended for a period of four years but with the rider that these could be activated in case he was convicted for any other offence of contempt of court within this period.

Mr Mishra earned himself another notice for contempt of court from the Supreme Court, the Bench comprising the then Chief Justice, Mr A.M. Ahmadi, Justice S.P. Bharucha and Justice K.S. Paripoornam, for describing the earlier verdict as “motivated, mala fide and incompetent” at a press conference and demanding a public apology from the three judges who had convicted him. He also sought their impeachment. The fate of the notice, however, could not be known from the excerpts.

ATUL GARG, Mandi

 

Intemperate language

In his article, “Punjab may go the Bihar way” (Saturday Extra, June 2), Khushwant Singh has used the Sacha Sauda Dera issue where the truth has now emerged for everyone to see and twisted it to snipe at the Akali Dal, the SGPC and the Sikh Jathedars.

His offensive words about the agrarian and rural society in connection with alcoholic abstinence, “that, too, makes sense in a rustic society in which men drink like thirsty donkeys, get drunk and make asses of themselves”, show that he no longer bothers about what he is writing.

He needs to remember that often it is the so-called civilised city society of his, where alcohol flows in more abundance. Khushwant Singh has used insulting and intemperate language, and I am sure, many who come from the rural stock and know the art of civilised drinking will want him to mind his words in future.

The Sikh religion is well aware as to how to protect its distinct identity from overt and covert attacks from interested quarters. The Sikh intelligentsia possesses the intellectual wherewithal to counter any malicious designs in a civilised and dignified manner.

There was no photography in those times and the images of our Gurus are based on paintings and renderings coming down the ages. The SGPC would do well to have a English language Media Monitoring Cell to respond 24x7 to such writings.

Maj-Gen HIMMAT SINGH GILL (retd),Chandigarh

Not a miracle

Without going into the merits and demerits of Harihar Swarup’s piece “Maya’s Recipe for Success” (Profile May 20), I will only point out that Mayawati’s success is not a miracle of democracy.

Our electoral system, which is suffering from serious ailments of caste-based reservations, corruption, money power and muscle power, illiteracy and poverty of majority of voters, cannot, yield democracy. It can only yield monocracy. It is not a happy moment for the nation.

A.K. SHARMA, Chandigarh

II

The write-up is fairly comprehensive. However, a slight divergence of opinion on the subject may be permissible. To my mind, Mayawati’s cataclysmic electoral victory may be attributed to her policy of “social engineering”, tenacity of purpose and Indira-like grit to achieve the desideratum.

How the “iron lady” steers the ship of the country’s largest state would determine her future political career. Let us wait and see.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

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