The Madras High Court today has issued notice to the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and sought response from the concerned officials of the Bar as to the mechanism in place for taking action against the members of the legal fraternity, who have misbehaved in a public place with officials on duty.
Justice M. Dhandapani noted: “As the issue involved in the present petition has larger ramification with regard to the conduct of the members of the legal fraternity vis-a-vis the officials of the Government, and the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu being regulatory authority insofar as the legal profession and taking action against its members is concerned, the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu is impleaded as a party respondent in the present criminal original petition.”
The petition has been filed by a woman lawyer Tanuja Rajan @ Tanuja Kanthulla and her daughter Preeti Rajan seeking anticipatory bail in the event of arrest in relation to Crime No.192 of 2021 registered against the petitioners for offences, including deterring officials from discharging their duty. A video of the petitioners went viral on social media and was widely published, in which the two were abusing and threatening traffic police at Chetpet traffic signal. Pursuant to the said incident, a case was registered against the petitioners at Chetpet police station, Chennai.
The bench, while recognising the efforts of health workers and police personnel, during the time of the pandemic, underscored: “Though such is the scale in which duty is performed by the uniformed service, however, even then there are a few miscreants, who, with scant respect to the work done by the law enforcing agency, indulge in tussle with the police personnel, not only undermining the work done by them, but also creating an eerie atmosphere among the police personnel.”
The Court took notice of the increase in instances wherein the members of the legal fraternity are found to be indulged in activities against the law enforcing agency and observed that the State Bar Council is the regulatory body to take appropriate action against the unruly advocates who are involved in those acts which could demean the profession. “However, the mechanism that is in place to take action against such of those individuals, who involve themselves in indisciplined acts and misbehave with the officials on duty, are not clearly spelt out by the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu,” said the Bench.
In light of the above, the Court directed the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu to file a Status Report before the next date of hearing stating the mechanism that is in place for taking action against the members of the legal fraternity, as also the action that have been taken against such of those advocates who have misbehaved in the public place with the officials on duty.q
The matter will now be taken up on June 17.