Lawyer Gets Intimate With Woman At Virtual Hearing, Suspended

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An advocate of the Madras High Court was suspended yesterday from practice for his alleged “improper” behaviour with a woman during the course of the virtual hearing of a case before a single judge.

R D Santhana Krishnan, an advocate from here, was prevented from practising as an advocate in all courts, tribunals and other authorities in India either in his name or in any assumed name till the disposal of the disciplinary proceedings pending against him for his alleged indecent behaviour, a press release from the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry said.

The portfolio judges P N Prakash and R Hemalatha on their own initiated contempt proceedings against Santhana Krishnan. They directed the CB-CID wing of the police to register a case and hold a thorough probe on the issue and file a report on December 23.

The judges also directed the Tamil Nadu Bar Council to take appropriate disciplinary proceedings against the lawyer and accordingly, it prohibited Santhana Krishnan from practising, by adopting the resolution today.

The video purportedly showed the lawyer in an intimate posture with a woman, while a judge was hearing a case through video-conferencing on Monday. It went viral yesterday.

The bench yesterday said the “Court cannot afford to be a mute spectator and turn a Nelson’s eye when such brazen vulgarity is publicly displayed amidst Court proceedings”. It directed the the City Police Commissioner to take steps to block the circulation of the impugned video clipping in social media.

“Superadded, we are of the considered view that it is high time that we revisit the procedure of conducting court proceedings in hybrid mode, especially in the light of the fact that advocates, in large numbers, have started appearing in person in our High Court as well in the district Courts.” “However, a decision in this regard has to be taken by the Hon’ble Acting Chief Justice before whom this matter may be placed,” the judges said.

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