Mathews J Nedumpara
“Criticizing Bar Council amounts to misconduct”?
Every man has a right to his reputation and nobody has a right to violate it. This is undeniable and has been recognized from the early days of Roman law, all legal systems. Advocates, and for that matter even the judges have no right to violate the right of reputation. When the common people violate it, they will have to face the consequence of criminal and civil proceedings for defamation and even contempt. Lawyers certainly are not above law. But at the same time, any attempt to silence criticism and dissent in the name of protecting judges or any authority, is wholly unconstitutional, draconian and it is the duty of every lawyer, right thinking people to oppose it.
I am unable to understand what prompted the Bar council to come with the new rules, if the newspaper reports are correct. The Bar Council should instead think of some protection agaisnt objectionable, derogatory statements against lawyers and litigants from the seat of justice. I must add that, fortunately, only a few judges forget that they thereby demean their office. The majority of judges conduct themselves in a dignified manner, realizing that the office they occupy demands great amount of reticence.
Bar Council is a statutory authority, dutybound to conduct its affairs within the four walls of the constitution and the laws of the land. Right to criticism, nay, dissent is the very core of a democracy, and of our constitution. Nothing could be more reprehensible than any regulation which is intended to silence dissent and criticism. The members of the Bar are duty bound to disobey such tyrannical rules, if any, because it is the duty, not merely right, of every citizen to revolt against tyranny.