Lawyer has to maintain decorum; no room for arrogance, no license to intimidate judge: Bombay High Court

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Justice Anuja Prabhudessai of the Bombay High Court recently took strong exception to the conduct of a lawyer who went on a tirade against her accusing her of bias and threatening to lodge a complaint against her with the Chief Justice [Dipak Kalicharan Kanojiya v. State of Maharashtra & Anr.]
Justice Prabhudessai was accused of partiality and unfairness in open court by advocate Anjali Patil who had sought urgent circulation of a bail application.

“The scurrilous aspersions not only has inevitable effect of undermining confidence of public in judiciary but also has the tendency to interfere with the administration of justice,” the judge observed in a 2-page order on April 19.

Justice Prabhudessai acknowledged the frustration a lawyer has to go through while facing clients when matters get adjourned.

However, it is the duty of the advocate to uphold the dignity and maintain decorum of the court, the judge added.

“An advocate as an officer of the court is under an obligation to maintain the dignity and decorum of the Court. There is no room for arrogance and there is no license to intimidate the Court, make reckless accusations and allegations against a judge and to pollute the very fountain of justice,” the Court stated.

Advocate Patil had approached the High Court seeking urgent circulation of the application.

When Justice Prabhudessai enquired about the urgency for mentioning the matter out of turn, Patil responded by making allegations that the ‘Court was giving priority to certain matters and to certain advocates’.

Patil insinuated that the Court was not fair but biased and that litigants do not get justice from the Court.

“She went on a tirade in full presence of the litigants and lawyers without allowing the Court to proceed with the matter in hand or to take up other matters. She further threatened that she would lodge a complaint before the Chief Justice about the conduct of this court and further sought time to place the facts on record on an affidavit” the order by Justice Prabhudessai recorded.

While Justice Prabhudessai adjourned the bail application for hearing on April 22, 2022, the judge called the conduct of the advocate “highly unprofessional and unbecoming of an advocate”.

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