Case Law Details

Case Name : S. Baskar Mathuram Vs The State of Tamil Nadu (Madras High Court)
Appeal Number : Writ Petition (MD) No.15480 of 2016
Date of Judgement/Order : 22/08/2016
Related Assessment Year :
Courts : All High Courts (4422) Madras High Court (338)

Hc held that In the event the Bar Council agrees with our prima facie opinion that the writ petition is instituted by a practicing lawyer, seeking publicity and mileage for his professional activity rather than propelled by genuine desire to protect the larger public-good and interest, the Bar Council shall take appropriate action. We hope and trust that the Bar Council will be placing its ‘action taken report’ before this Court  within a period of six months.

Relevant Text of the Judgment

4.The whole basis for instituting this writ petition seeking extravagant reliefs appears to be an unfortunate incident which is alleged to have taken place on 05.08.2016 in some remote rural area of this part of the State. It appears that a complaint was lodged by one of the victims’ parents on 06.08.2016 which the Police viz., M.Kallupatti Police Station, have registered promptly and have also taken up the matter for investigation. It appears that some of the newspapers also carried a news item, on 07.08.2016. That inspired the writ petitioner to file this writ petition. It appears that he is a practitioner of law. If a practitioner of law is seeking to use the platform of High Court for purposes of gaining popularity  and publicity, so that he will be able to attract more number of clients, if not the alleged victims themselves in this case, it would amount to an unethical practice of soliciting work on one’s part. When once the Code of Conduct is prescribed by the Bar Council of India to be always adhered to and followed by every practitioner of law, any attempt to overreach the situation and also to breach it, even in an indirect manner, as has been done in the present case, it must attract necessary corrective action.

5.We therefore, direct the Registrar (Judicial) of this Bench to place a copy of the affidavit filed by the writ petitioner in this case before the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry at Chennai for initiating necessary action for the breach  of Code of Ethics and professional conduct by the writ petitioner. In the event the Bar Council agrees with our prima facie opinion that the writ petition is instituted by a practicing lawyer, seeking publicity and mileage for his professional activity rather than propelled by genuine desire to protect the larger public-good and interest, the Bar Council shall take appropriate action. We hope and trust that the Bar Council will be placing its ‘action taken report’ before this Court  within a period of six months.

6. Often times, we have been noticing that the Print and Electronic Media is carrying on publication of the names of legal practitioners as well as the names of the Judges of the High Court concerned, who dealt with particular cases,  publication of names of practitioners who may have appeared for one party or the other in a particular case can lead to an indirect method of soliciting or indulging in advertisement of the professional abilities or skills of the advocates. We, therefore, direct the Registrar (Administration) of this Bench to immediately circulate instructions to all Print, Electronic  and Media Houses not to publish the names of the practitioners as part of news item.

7.We also direct, for the present, the Registrar (Administration) to request the Print, Electronic and Media House, not to publish the individual names of the Judges unless it is so essentially required. The reason being every Judge of the High Court is carrying on with his work sitting in a particular division/roster as assigned by My Lord The Hon’ble Chief Justice. The Judges do perform their duties dispassionately and to the extent possible by not allowing their individual notions and philosophies to be a guiding factor in deciding the causes brought before them. Therefore, we feel that the names of the Judges should not be published and on the other hand, the name of the High Court alone should be published.

8.We further direct the Registrar (Administration) to place this matter before My Lord The Hon’ble Chief Justice, so that appropriate instructions can be issued in this regard by My Lord The Hon’ble Chief Justice.

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