KOCHI: Chief Justice of India Justice T S Thakur admitted the fact that some of the Supreme Court lawyers charged huge amounts as litigation fee.
However, they also offer free legal service to the poor. He said that there was nothing wrong in accepting high fees, according to the capability of the client.
Justice Thakur was speaking after laying the foundation stone for the M K Nambyar Academy for Continuing Legal Profession, being set up by the Bar Council of Kerala. Thakur said that in addition to bringing recognition, the legal profession should also bring various dividends in terms of money and rewards.
Thakur was responding to the remarks by Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan, who urged the Chief Justice and the other authorities to address the issue of lawyers of the Apex Court charging high fees. The lawyers should have the heart to pay back society. The Supreme Court is inaccessible to the poor as some of the lawyers demand very high fees. Achuthanandan also stated that one Supreme Court lawyer had sought `60 lakh when he approached him for filing a Public Interest Litigation.
Justice Thakur also stressed the need for an academy in the lines of the M K Nambyar Academy for empowering and equipping the lawyers to litigate matters in courts. He said that every lawyer should hone skills by attending classes in such academies. It will help the judiciary, will in turn help society as a whole.
Supreme Court Justice Kurian Joseph said that a professional approach was needed towards the legal profession. He also pointed out that 50 per cent of the High Courts in the country did not sit until the full court hours. He requested the Chief Justice of India to make it compulsory for every High Court to sit until the full court hours. He further stated that mass oath-taking by law graduates should be avoided. According to him, the young lawyers should be given opportunity to take oath before a High Court judge, so that he/she would consider the profession seriously.
Bar Council of Kerala chairman Joseph John presided over the function. Kerala High Court Chief Justice Ashok Bhushan, Bar Council of India chairman Manan Kumar Mishra, Advocate General K P Dandapani, Supreme Court lawyer and trustee of the Academy K K Venugopal and Director General of Prosecution T Asaf Ali were also present.
appointment of judges
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the State Government would send a letter to the Central Government, seeking to appoint nine more additional judges in the Kerala High Court. The CM also stated that Union Law Minister Sadananda Gowda had promised to grant permission for making the appointments. He further announced a hike in the Lawyers Welfare Fund from `5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh, and sanctioned `2 crore for construction of the Academy.