We the undersigned lawyers practicing in Mumbai, condemn the undignified behavior of our professional colleagues in the Patiala House Court Complex, Delhi during this week.

As members of the legal fraternity we are ashamed of their conduct which is neither becoming of the dignity of the profession nor as citizens of a free and democratic country.

This is nothing but tyranny and mockery of a system we took an oath to practice in.

We practice in a system that recognizes freedom of speech and expression and a right to be represented before a court.

As officers of the court and upholders of law it is not becoming of us lawyers to engage or indulge in such acts of assaulting, beating up and intimidating people within or outside the Court premises.

The conduct of assaulting any citizen of the country is not only taking law into our hands but proclaiming that we have no faith in justice and the very legal system we practice in.

Freedom of speech and expression is the very foundation of our practice and if these very rights and freedoms are curtailed it threatens the edifice of our profession.

A fundamental principle of law is that everyone is innocent till proven guilty and by such unbecoming conduct we are declaring the entire process of law infructuous.

If guilt were to be decided outside the court, through popular sentiment the entire judicial process would be rendered meaningless.

We as practitioners of law must desist from such conduct and uphold the dignity of the profession.

We write this open letter with the hope, that our fellow lawyers will respect and uphold the dignity of our profession.

Anil Anturkar, Sr. Counsel
Aspi Chinoy, Sr. Counsel
Dinyar Madon, Sr. Counsel
E. P Bharucha, Sr. Counsel
Gayatri Singh, Sr. Counsel
Janak Dwarkadas, Sr. Counsel
Mihir Desai, Sr. Counsel
Milind Sathe, Sr. Counsel
Navroz Seervai, Sr. Counsel
Rahul Narichania, Sr. Counsel
Rajani Iyer, Sr. Counsel
Ravi Kadam, Sr. Counsel
Sanjay Singhvi, Sr. Counsel
Shirish Gupte, Sr. Counsel
Shyam Mehta, Sr. Counsel
Venkatesh Dhond, Sr. Counsel
Adv. Aabad Ponda
Adv. Aayush Tainwala
Adv. Abdul Bari Ansari
Adv. Abhilasha Sharma
Adv. Abhinav Tiwari
Adv. Aditya Swarup
Adv. Afreen Khan
Adv. Anita Castellino
Adv. Apeksha Parekh
Adv. Archana Rupwate
Adv. Arshad Shaikh
Adv. Arun Ferrera
Adv. Asadulla A Sayed
Adv. Asha Rudiyal
Adv. Ayaz Shaikh
Adv. Bruno Castellino
Adv. Butul A Sayed
Adv. D. British
Adv. Deepa Chhabria
Adv. Farhana Latief
Adv. Flavia Agnes
Adv. Hemant B. Kumar
Adv. Hemant Ingle
Adv. Imtiyaz Shaikh
Adv. Irene Sequeira
Adv. Jalaja Nambiar
Adv. Jaya Menon
Adv. Kanika Joshi
Adv. Karl Tamboli
Adv. Kranti LC
Adv. Lara Jesani
Adv. Maharukh Adenwalla
Adv. Maneck Mulla
Adv. Mani Prakash
Adv. Manoj M Kadam
Adv. Medha Deo
Adv. Meenaz Kakalia
Adv. Mini Mathew
Adv. Monica Sakhrani
Adv. Mridula kadam
Adv. Mussadique Shaikh
Adv. Naushad Engineer
Adv. Nausheen Yousuf
Adv. Nikhil Sakhardande
Adv. Nilima Dutta
Adv. Nita Bhatia
Adv. Persis Sidhva
Adv. Pradeep mandhyan
Adv. Prajakta Keni
Adv. Pranali Pawar
Adv. Priyank Kapadia
Adv. Raju Moray
Adv. Rebecca Gonsalves
Adv. Riddhi Dadia
Adv. Robin Fernandes
Adv. Roshni Tandale
Adv. S M Algaus
Adv. Sangeena Aliyar
Adv. Sanober Keshwaar
Adv. Sarah Kapadia
Adv. Sarosh Bharuch
Adv. Saumya Brajmohan
Adv. Scherezad Parelvala
Adv. Shalini Devi
Adv. Sharan Jagtiani
Adv. Sharmila Kaushik
Adv. Shonottra H. Kumar
Adv. Shrey Fatterpekar
Adv. Shreya Jha
Adv. Shruti Jadhav
Adv. Shweta Moray
Adv. Siddha Pamecha
Adv. Somasekhar Sundaresan
Adv. Sonal Waingankar
Adv. Sumangala Biradar
Adv. Sunil R Pandey
Adv. Surabhi Singh
Adv. Suraj Sanap
Adv. Suresh Rajeshwar
Adv. Susan Abraham
Adv. Swaraj Jadhav
Adv. T. Parakkadan
Adv. Utkarsh Mishra
Adv. Veena Gowda
Adv. Veena Johari
Adv. Vidhi Kotak
Adv. Vijay Hiremath
Adv. Vinamra Kopariha
Adv. Yug Mohit Chaudhry
Adv. Zaman Ali

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  1. Advocates belonged to almost all political parties are practicing in the Courts. Once they entered into the premises of the Court buildings, they have to leave all of their political affiliations, political ideologies outside the court buildings. Advocates are Officers of the Court.

    To represent an accused or not before the Court is individual choice of an Advocate. Even if no Advocate represent any accused, if the accused asked the Court to appoint “Legal Aid Counsel” the Court will appoint any Advocate as Legal Aid Counsel. Accused may not be denied his fundamental right to utilize the legal aid provided by the Govt. That’s why even the alleged accused involved in terror activities are getting the benefits of Legal Aid.

    For example : Even though Kasab waged war against the State, yet the Govt. provided Legal Aid Counsel. In one way State is the aggrieved party, yet provided legal aid to prove the innocence of the accused. Aggrieved party provided aid to the accused to prove his innocence. In individual cases such facility is not available but in case of State due to the Constitution of India, accused is getting the benefits of legal aid. This is due to democracy.

    Like in European countries Indian fundamental rights are not absolute. They had some reasonable restrictions. Being Advocates attacking the accused in the court premises is not a good practice. Individual opinions of a person are not universal opinions. For example we are watching the debates and discussions in T.V. Channels. How the individual opinions of TV Panelists are binding on 1.2 billion people? Only few selected panelists are expressing their opinions. How they will know everything under the sky?

    So the best way is treating the opinions of TV Panelists as his/her individual opinions only. When any official spokesperson of any political party participated in the discussions the said opinions are only version of the said political party. Official spokespersons cannot express their individual opinions.

    Media also has to restrain while exposing the individual opinions which have to be limited to four walls of a premises, more and more publicity should be avoided. For simple matters front page news or frequent breaking news are not required.

    Once an Advocate has been appointed as Legal Aid Counsel, it is his/her duty to represent the accused before the Court of Law. It is his duty to present the facts in appropriate way before the Court and making efforts to participate in Fair Trial, if the accused is not guilty, the said Counsel has to prove by using natural witnesses or circumstantial evidence or any other evidence as per the Indian Evidence Act. Ultimately it is the Judgment of the Court which will decide whether an accused is an innocent or guilty as per the witnesses and evidence produced before the Court. Without completing Fair Trial deciding the guilty of an accused is not proper.

    Advocates may earn or may not earn every month but the said profession is a dignified and independent one. Advocates must restrain to beat or attack the accused in the Court premises.

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