DHCBA circular: Humiliating and carminativeDHCBA circular: Humiliating and carminativeExclusive: The Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) executive committee (EC) called on lawyers to boycott the court’s additional judge Valmiki Mehta today, for his allegedly excessive imposition of costs on an unprecedented scale in matters before him, and for passing “brusque remarks” against “some senior lawyers”.

However, some general body members of the association opposed the “humiliating” view.

In a notice dated 18 December, displayed in the Delhi HC premises, the DHCBA EC stated that it will also address a representation against Mehta’s extension or confirmation on the roster, to the collegium of judges including the chief justice of India and of the Delhi HC.

“There is a growing tendency amongst the Hon’ble judges of our Hon’ble High Court of imposing costs in the pending litigation without there being any cause that warrants such a denigrating measure”, wrote the EC, adding, “The brusque remarks emanating from these benches for some senior lawyers of the Bar are demeaning not just for the individual but they lower the image of the institution in the eyes of the litigants and the public at large”.

It has been specifically noted that Hon’ble Mr Justice Valmiki Mehta presently on the original side, is excessively harsh in imposing costs on an unprecedented scale, on the litigants and his Lordship’s demeanour on the bench has been wanting of this august office.

Despite requests and representations to the Hon’ble Chief Justice and personal meetings with successive Chief Justices by the Office Bearers of the Executive Committee, which in no case would go unnoticed there is no sign of any carminative effect.

Conspicuously it looks like that the Bar as a whole can be subjected to the caprices of any “knight errand” despite the fact that it always conducts its business as prudent officers of the Court.

Mehta who enrolled at the bar in 1982 and was designated a senior advocate in 2001, became an additional judge of the Delhi HC in April 2009. Cases before him that were recently widely reported include a defamation matter against Google and its subsidiaries filed by a Christian organisation, The Zee-Jindal dispute, and STAR India’s copyright claim in the T20 world cup cricket matches broadcasted this year.

30 matters, including 16 freshly mentioned ones, were listed before Mehta today, in court number 19 of the Delhi HC.

Advocate Rahul Gupta, who was also appearing in a matter listed before Mehta today said: “This decision was taken without taking the general body of the association [DHCBA] into confidence. Here is a judge who is really doing a great job.  This judge is particularly meritorious, very knowledgeable, very hardworking and very competent. But everyone has their own temperament problems. Lawyers could not go and attend their cases in his court because of a few handful of people.”

“The decision has been taken under the influence of one particular executive member of the bar association [DHCBA] with political lineage,” he added, commenting that he found the move “extremely humiliating”.

Another Delhi HC lawyer, who did not wish to be named, told Legally India that a number of DHCBA general body members opposed the decision because of the manner in which it was taken.

Another advocate @s_Navroop who was due to appear in a matter before Mehta tweeted about the situation today: “[…] the Court hall was blocked by chairs where Bar Members sat and didn't allowed anyone to go inside. It was a tamasha [to]day.”

DHCBA secretary Mohit Mathur, who was the undersigned in the notice, was not reachable for comment at the time of going to press.

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Like +1 No like -1 saurabh 2012-12-19 13:15
the bar body itself acting as a militant body.

am not a great fan of justice mehta, but this act of blocking entry to his courtroom is shameful
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Like +1 No like -0 Contempt 2012-12-19 13:35
The Lawyers blocking the Court Room should be pulled up for Contempt of Court if not Criminal Contempt of Court as this is a Physical action bordering on Batterey under the IPC.
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Like +2 No like -1 Aditya 2012-12-19 20:47
Can a lawyer who is dissatisfied with the results of the proceedings that he has appeared in, resort to hooliganism and bullying in order to secure the result that his arguments have failed to achieve?

In essence, because costs have been imposed, is it open to an advocate (or group of advocates) to blockade a court room, and impede the work of a court? Such actions by these so called office bearers are a monumental work of mischief. If advocates can bully the judiciary into passing only such orders as are to their liking, then there is no sanctity left to the institution. Whoever hires the lawyer that can mobilise a bigger mob, and inspire greater fear in the judge will win the case!

What sort of lawyers are these? For this act of insurrection, they should be taxed severely, and taught a lesson that neither they, nor anyone else will ever forget. This is an act which has lowered not only the judge, but the institution of the judiciary in the public eye. The shame that they have brought by this heinous act upon their association, the judiciary, and the profession is unprecedented.

It is noones case that judges are perfect. They certainly should be careful in their utterances. But if one is aggrieved by an order, the option of appeal or review is available. A gherao is no manner of response to an order that one doesnt appreciate. And Indian courts are anyway very conservative in imposition of costs. This is why litigants who are vexatious get away with wasting the time of the courts.

In the final calculus, these gentlemen should be punished so severely, that no one ever takes such ill advised actions again.
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Like +1 No like -1 Phoren Lawyer 2012-12-20 09:03

Who writes these notices for the DHCBA?
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Like +1 No like -0 Aditya 2012-12-20 18:20
Quoting Phoren Lawyer:

Who writes these notices for the DHCBA?

Assuredly the very same ladies and gentlemen who thought it apposite to blockade and picket the court of a judge of the High Court of Delhi.
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Like +0 No like -0 legaly speaking 2012-12-20 15:53
I think most of lawyers commented above are not a regular practitioner or have own brief (i may be wrong i my perception) but either they didnot face real situation. It is right that Few judges humiliates lawyers, passes scathing general remarks on one pretext or other, they forgets that they were lawyers too before elevation ,

Judge has right to be tough but judge has no right to humiliate lawyers,

these days bar is full of sycophants, Bar takes extreme steps only after consistent and persistent complaint by members against judges

Some thinks they are legal Zamindars forgetting that it is a Democratic country Just few days back Hon'ble Mr. Justice Swatanter Kumar in the farewell speech said that bar and bench should respect each other .

(my comment is general in nature but true based on my experience)
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Like +0 No like -0 Aditya 2012-12-20 18:18
To Legally Speaking, supra:

The gentlemen and ladies who form the executive committee of the DHCBA are hardly newbies in the profession, some are seniors, etc. All are well paid and well respected.

Should they be behaving in this way? Yes, I understand that a section of lawyers are angry, angry at being mistreated by the judicial officer under consideration at the moment. And no judge should ever be brusque or even rude to an advocate, without sufficient cause. But the actions of the DHCBA Ex. Committee are not the way forward.
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Like +0 No like -0 Srinath 2012-12-21 09:03
Umm.... A carminative is a drug consumed to combat flatulence.
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Like +0 No like -0 Aditya 2012-12-21 21:01
Quoting Srinath:
Umm.... A carminative is a drug consumed to combat flatulence.

Hahahahahahahahhahahahaha hahahhahaha!!!!!!!!!!! That, dear Srinath, is the best thing I've read ALL. DAY. LONG.
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Like +1 No like -0 CCCC 2012-12-24 13:14
V Mehta is the best judge at HC. He encourages quick disposal of cases which is why the imposition of very high costs. with stupid adjournments being demanded by advocates, it is only appropriate for judges to start following V Mehta.
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