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BENCH-BAR RELATIONSHIP

I. INTRODUCTION

The phrase "Bench and Bar" denotes all judges and lawyers collectively. The
Bar and Bench play an extremely vital role in the administration of justice.
On that account, the successfulness if the administration of Justice is
dependent upon the amicable relationship between the Bar and Bench. It
has been rightly said that law does not live in the books, it lives with the
profession.

II. OBJECT OF BENCH AND BAR

Preamble to our Constitution secures to every citizen the social, economic


and political justice. The machinery for the administration of justice is
composed of the judges and the advocates. Following may be noted in this
respect :-

1. Judges and Advocates are equally important players in the


administration of justice.
2. They are two wings of the judicial system and two wheels of the
chariot of justice.
3. The judges administer the law with the assistance of the lawyers. The
lawyers are the officers of the court.
4. In order to achieve the common object of dispensation of justice,
judges adjudicate and the lawyers advocate a cause.

III. FACTORS AFFECTING THE BENCH-BAR RELATIONS

The Bench-Bar relation is not as simple as it appears to be and is full of


complexities, intricacies and challenges. Following are some of the factors
which hamper the cordiality of the Bench-Bar relation :-

1. Unbecoming act on the part of either side - Acts contrary to what


is expected may hamper the relation on the either side.
2. Lack of reciprocal respect - If the lawyer is required to maintain
the dignity of the judge, the judge is also obligated to give respectful
treatment to the lawyers appearing before him. Respect is always a
reciprocal process.
3. Failure of advocate to render assistance in administration of
justice - Failure to give requisite information to the court is an
instance of not rendering proper assistance to the court. These
situations infuriate the court and compel it to take action against the
erring lawyer. It might have adverse impact on the relations.
4. Judge failing to patiently hear the case
5. Rude Behaviour of Judge
6. Vexatious complaints by advocates against the judges
7. Question mark on impartiality of judge - A single instance of
favouritism would damage his image forever and hamper his
reputation on the other side. It shakes the mutual trust of the bench-
bar relation.

IV. ROLE OF ADVOCATES IN ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

Since the lawyers assist the court in arriving at correct judgements which
shall be sustainable in the eyes of law, it is extremely important for him to
perform the following duties :-

1. A lawyer must explain properly as to what his case is;


2. He shall describe as to how an act of the State or an individual is
illegal and resulted in violation of his client's rights.
3. He must cite judgements which support the case of his client.
4. He shall place before the court materials such as position of the
statute, precedents of the superior courts applicable to the particular
case etc.

Without proper assistance from the lawyer, it becomes difficult for the court
to decide a case in accordance with law and judgements passed in
ignorance of law cannot survive.

What the Advocates Owe To The Court/Judge

1. Respectful Attitude - A lawyer shall have a respectful attitude


towards the court and judges. He shall always scrupulously observe
the decorum of the court room. A lapse on his part may amount to
professional misconduct. For e.g. :- using intemperate and insulting
language against a judge.
2. Controlled Conduct - While protecting the interest of his client, an
advocate should not get agitated. He should maintain his cool. Even in
his pleadings he shall use respectful language.
3. Constructive Assistance - A lawyer is a responsible officer of the
court. It is the duty of the lawyer to assist the court in a properly
prepared manner. He shall state the correct facts and should not
mislead the court.
4. Smooth Functioning of Court - An advocate shall ensure smooth
functioning of the court. Therefore, the advocate shall not deliberately
absent himself from attending the court on the day. Non appearance
without sufficient cause is not excused.
5. Befitting Behaviour - An advocate must behave in such a manner
which suits his status as an officer of the court, a privileged member
of the community and gentlemen. If the lawyers do not act in apt
manner it would be destructive for democracy and the rule of law.
6. Fairness - An advocate shall always be fair to the court. He should
not make a false statement before the court. His submissions must
reflect the factual position known to him. The faith and confidence of
the court needs to be maintained.
7. Uphold The Dignity of Court and Majesty of Law - An advocate
should not do an act which brings disrepute to the court or lowers its
authority in the eyes of common man. Therefore, every order of the
court must be respected and abided by.
8. No Contumacious act - Any act of wilful non compliance with
court's order, interference with administration of justice and
scandalizing the court/judge amounts to contempt of court. Therefore,
an advocate shall not engage in any such act under any situation.

V. ROLE OF JUDGES IN ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

The judge plays a vital role in upholding the rule of law.

What Judge Owes To An Advocate/Litigant

1. Considerate and courteous towards Advocates - It is the duty of


the court to try to maintain the lawyer's respect in the eyes of his
client and the general public with whom he has to deal in his
professional capacity. The judge should not ill treat the bar in general
and an individual advocate in specific.
2. Sympathetic towards litigants - The court should be full of
sympathies but it should not come in the way of dispensing justice. In
a case, the High Court considering the brilliant academic record of
the disabled girl directed the college to relax norms and grant
admission to her sympathetically.
3. Impartiality - A judge must be unbiased while deciding the case. His
decisions shall be totally in accordance with law and not to please
anybody. He shall discharge his functions without any fear, affection
or hate. He should not give weight age to the face value of an
advocate appearing before him. He should not decide a matter in
which he is directly or indirectly interested.
4. Patient hearing with open mind - A judge should be a better
listener than an orator. He must respect the right of the counsel of
being heard fully and patiently. He must bear in mind that undue
interference or impatience would prevent the proper presentation of
the cause. Where counsel goes irrelevant, he may interfere.
5. Judicial temperament - A judge must exhibit his judicial
temperament which involves patience, open mindedness, courtesy,
firmness, humbleness, punctuality and common sense. He should be
able to handle personal stress and criticism.
6. Compassion - A judge must be compassionate in his approach as it
would give solace to the litigant who approaches the court for
redresses of his grievance.
7. Integrity - Integrity of Judge is the essence of the judicial system.
People have faith in a judge who is fair and who remains uninfluenced
by race, gender, political status, wealth etc.
8. Punctuality - Punctuality, both in maintaining court timings and in
delivering judgements is essential. A judge must sit and leave the
court at the appointed time. Similarly, judgements shall be delivered
without any unreasonable delay. A good judgement delivered with
promptness receives a lot admiration.

VI. IDEAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE BENCH AND BAR

1. The members of the Bench and Bar are brought up in the same
kindergarten. Hence, they carry common ideals and traditions of
judicial discipline and ethics. Both are protectors of social values.
2. If independent judiciary is the pillar of democracy, the Bar is the
foundation of it. The Bar is the mother of the Bench as the former is
the principal ground for recruiting judges.
3. Therefore, both must work in harmony with each other for
advancement of justice. To accomplish this task, congenial relations
between the two must be developed and continued through reciprocal
faith and respect. Mutual confidence on both sides would always
smoothen the cause of justice.
4. Both should discharge their respective functions in an unbiased and
coordinated manner.

VII. SUGGESTIONS TO IMPROVE BENCH-BAR RELATIONSHIP

1. A common forum should be constituted for redressal of grievances of


the Bench and Bar.
2. Senior members of the Bar should be allowed to take effective part in
ensuring professional etiquette.
3. There shall be effective implementation of the disciplining of High
Court justices through judicial in-house procedure as envisaged in
C.R. Iyer v. Justice AM Bhattacharjee.
4. A code of ethics for higher judiciary is the need of hour.

Case Law :- Prem Surana v. Additional Munsif and Judicial


Magistrate

Held :- The apex court held that harmony between the bench and bar can
yield the best results in achieving the objectives enshrined in the
constitution.

Case Law :- D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal


This was a case of custodial death and the court realised the necessity of
help from the Bar and invited Dr. Singhvi to act as amicus curiae, who did
so subsequently.

Case Law :- P.D. Gupta v. Ram Murti and Another

Held :- Administration of justice has to be kept pure and clean and it is


possible only by the cooperation of bench and bar.

Case Law :- DP Chadha v. TN Mishra

Facts :- Counsel had connived with the opposite party for a compromise
without the authority of a client.

Held :- The advocate is duty bound to state the correct position of law. He
cannot mislead the court to take unfair advantage of it.