Bar, Bench two wheels of justice; lawyers deserve same respect as Judges: HC

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Apr 13: While expunging the remarks made by the Srinagar Chief Judicial Magistrate that lawyers level unnecessary allegations against Judicial Officers to facilitate personal convenience, High Court has observed that Bar and Bench are two chariots of justice and lawyers deserve same respect as Judges.
The observation has been made in a petition challenging order dated 09.03.2022, passed by Chief Judicial Magistrate, Srinagar, whereby transfer application filed by the petitioners for transfer of case under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, titled Lateef Ahmad Rather and Ors Vs. Shafeeka Bhat, from the court of Judicial Magistrate 1st Class (2nd Additional Munsiff), Srinagar to any other court of competent jurisdiction in District Srinagar, has been declined.
After hearing both the sides, Justice Sanjay Dhar observed, “the main grouse of the petitioners is that their application for modification or vacation of order dated 08.11.2021, passed by the trial Magistrate in ex-parte against the petitioners, is not being considered on its merits expeditiously”.
“It also appears that there has been some exchange of harsh words between the counsel for the petitioners and the Magistrate, which has forced the petitioners to approach the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Srinagar seeking transfer of proceedings from the court of trial Magistrate. The Chief Judicial Magistrate, has vide the impugned order rightly declined to transfer the proceedings from the court of trial Magistrate, but, while doing so, the Chief Judicial Magistrate has made certain sweeping remarks against the advocates by stating that the advocates level unnecessary allegations against the Judicial Officers in order to facilitate their personal convenience”, the High Court said.
“There can be no doubt that the grounds urged by the petitioners seeking transfer of their case from the court of trial Magistrate to any other court of competent jurisdiction, are not cogent. Merely because the Magistrate has failed to dispose of the application of the petitioners, is not a ground to transfer the case. It is also not a ground for transfer of a case if there is exchange of some hot words between the Court and the counsel”, Justice Dhar said.
“Thus the decision of Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar to decline the transfer of the matter from the trial Magistrate, is legally correct and cannot be interfered with. However, sweeping remarks that have been made by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, were uncalled for and unnecessary for the decision of the case”, Justice Dhar said, adding “there may be stray incidents where the advocates have resorted to leveling of allegations against the Judicial Officers in order to seek transfer of their cases from one court to other to suit their convenience, but then this cannot be generalized”.
“The advocates are the officers of the court and deserve the same respect and dignity as is being given to the Judicial Officers and Presiding Officers of the courts. Bench and Bar are two wheels of the chariot of justice. Both are equal and no one is superior to the other. The members of the Bar, as such, deserve the utmost respect and dignity. There may be some rotten apples in the profession, as is true of every profession, but to say that the advocates generally adopt these tactics is not the correct position”, High Court said while expunging the remarks of CJM.