Advocates are officers of Court and deserve same respect and dignity as is being given to Judicial and Presiding Officers of Courts: J&K and Ladakh HC

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court: Sanjay Dhar, J., expressed that, there may be stray incidents where the advocates have resorted to levelling allegations against the Judicial Officers in order to seek transfer of their cases from one Court to another to suit their convenience, but then this cannot be generalized.

The petitioners have challenged an order passed by Chief Judicial Magistrate, Srinagar whereby transfer application filed by the petitioners for transfer of a case under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act from the Court of Judicial Magistrate 1st Class to any other Court of competent jurisdiction was declined.

Analysis, Law and Decision

High Court noted that the main grouse of the petitioners was that their application for modification or vacation of order passed by the trial Magistrate in ex-parte against the petitioners was not being considered on its merits expeditiously.

Further, it was also noted that there had been some exchange of harsh words between the petitioners’ counsel and the Magistrate, which had forced the petitioner to approach the Chief Judicial Magistrate seeking transfer of proceedings from the Court of trial Magistrate.

The Bench expressed that the Chief Judicial Magistrate had vide the impugned order rightly declined to transfer the proceedings from the Court of trial Magistrate, but, while doing so, the Chief Judicial Magistrate had 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.

“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.”

Hence, in view of the above, 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.

Therefore, the sweeping remarks made by the Chief Judicial Magistrate were uncalled for an unnecessary for the decision of the case.

High Court also remarked that,

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 profession, but to say that the advocates generally adopt these tactics is not the correct position.

Hence, the remarks of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, as such, deserve to be expunged. [Latief Ahmad v. Shafeeqa Bhat, 2022 SCC OnLine J&K 249, decided on 8-4-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner: Hazim Quershi, Advocate

For the Respondents: None

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