PUTTAPARTHI: The biggest conclave of judges and the legal fraternity, which deliberated on ‘Human Values and the Legal World’, concluded here on Sunday, expressing serious concern over the decline in ethics in the legal profession. Highlighting the deterioration, Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana High Court Justice T B Radhakrishnan said there are two types of judges — donkeys and horses.
Candid in his observation, Justice Radhakrishnan said, “I faithfully belong to the donkeys’ creed and I am happy. Horses are meant to be decorated, but donkeys are meant to carry the burden.”
Justice Radhakrishnan, who chaired a seminar on ‘Ethics and Probity in Legal Profession’, on the concluding day of the two-day conclave held at Prashanti Nilayam, advocated the need for synchronisation of Constitutional values with eternal human values. He added that lawyers and law students should strive to ensure that the illiterate and mentally challenged get their constitutional rights.
That would be the real service to society and to spiritual guru Satya Sai Baba, he said.
Delhi High Court judge Justice Hari Shankar, in his address, called upon the judicial fraternity to uphold the principles of truth, dharma (righteousness) and compassion, and to live up to the view that it is a noble profession.
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana High Court judge Justice Ram Subramanian stressed the importance of ethics in the profession. One should never give up ethics to win a case, he said, and observed that today, the urge among lawyers is to become a crorepati, not commitment to client, court or community. “Materialistic prosperity is not everything in life,” he added.
Corruption in the judiciary is a grave concern and Manipur High Court judge N Kotiswar Singh minced no words when he asked the judges to shun gifts.
He compared the habit of taking gifts to that of getting addicted to drugs.
“One must avoid temptation. Make sure you don’t cultivate the habit of taking gifts. It is just like drug addiction. Once taken, it becomes a habit, once tasted, you can’t resist the temptation,” he said.
He appealed to the judicial fraternity not to compromise on morality and ethics. “We are not practising what we are preaching,” he said.
The two-day conclave also deliberated on issues of ‘Dharma and the Rule of Law’, which was chaired by former judge of Supreme Court Justice A P Misra and also ‘Role of Judiciary in Advancing Human Values’ with judge of International Court of Justice Dalveer Bhandari delivering the keynote address.