CHENNAI: Justice D Hariparanthaman, who retired on Wednesday after serving as a judge of the Madras High Court for over seven years, has urged the Bar Council of India and its Bench in Chennai, to revoke their orders suspending over 40 lawyers from practising in any court in the country.
As many as 47 advocates have been suspended for their alleged professional misconduct by the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and the BCI in New Delhi, and they were languishing for periods ranging from three to five months.
Delivering his farewell address, Justice Hariparanthaman cited the affidavit filed by the BCI chairman before the Supreme Court with regard to the violent incidents at the Patiala court recently. In that affidavit, the chairman had stated that a decision as to whether the lawyers involved in the violent incidents should be suspended or removed from the rolls will be taken only after the completion of the enquiry. The same yardstick must be applied in the case of the advocates of the Madras High Court and its Bench at Madurai, too. Unfortunately, the advocates in Chennai and Madurai were suspended much before the enquiry started. Hence, the suspension orders against the lawyers, who were languishing for a longer period, should be revoked, he said.
Stating that the freedom of speech and expression of thoughts are integral part of a democracy in a big country like India, the outgoing judge said the restrictions given in Article 19(2) of the Constitution should be removed for the betterment of the democracy. The judge also opined that the Collegium recommending the names of persons for appointment as judges to the High Courts should be expanded so as to include judges belonging to SC/ST, MBC and minorities, without which, social justice cannot be delivered fully, the judge said. With Justice Hariparanthaman’s retirement, the strength of the judges in the Bench has further come down to 34 against the sanctioned strength of 75 judges.