NEW DELHI: Courts will finally shed practices they inherited from the British. The Bar Council of India (BCI) has amended the advocates practice rules and made it mandatory for them to refer to judges as ‘Sir’, and not ‘My Lord’.
The salutations involving the lordship will be done away with after a number of directives from the Supreme Court. The court had said: “To address the court what do we want, only a respectable way of addressing. You call (judges) sir, it is accepted. You call your honour, it is accepted. You call lordship it is accepted.”
Justice Muralidhar and Justice Ravindra Bhatt have specifically told lawyers not to address them ‘My Lord’ or ‘Your Lordship’. The registry has also been directed to show the direction as part of the Cause List. Similar reservations were raised by several other high court judges. The BCI has framed a rule under Section 49 (1) (i) to this effect, and the resolution has been sent to the State Bar Councils and various Bar associations to be circulated to the courts. The rule has been framed consistent with the obligation of the Bar to show a respectful attitude to the court, bearing in mind the dignity of judicial office. The rule will come into effect from the date of publication in the official gazette.
The BCI has made it mandatory to abide by the circular. Though it had passed a resolution in April 2006 to this effect and a gazette notification was issued on May 6, 2006, a decision had not been adopted.