On the “uncle judges” syndrome, the new Chief Justice of India, Rajendra Mal Lodha had recently said, “If somebody is not following the code of conduct or professional ethics, it is for the Bar to take action. The judiciary can’t be blamed. Unfortunately, the role, which the Bar is required to play, is not being played.”
The Punjab and Haryana high court has at least 34% judges — 16 out of the total 47 — whose kin are practicing in the high court. In the backdrop of the CJI’s statement, Hindustan Times senior reporter Sanjeev Verma spoke with Bar Council of India chairman Biri Singh Sinsinwar on phone from Jaipur on Friday. Excerpts:
HT: What are your views on the Chief Justice of India’s remarks on the Bar Council?
Sinsinwar: The new CJI has not been briefed properly about all the facts. The Bar Council can’t be blamed as it has already passed a resolution few years back that when advocates are elevated as judges they should be transferred to other high courts.
The Rajasthan Bar Council had passed same resolution in 2010. But why that resolution has not been implemented?
It is for the Supreme Court and the government to implement the resolution and frame a suitable policy to curb the mischievous deeds of uncle judges.
What stops the SC and the government from implementing the Bar Council resolution?
They want to retain power with them and for this Bar Council can’t be blamed. The same is the case with the age-old collegium system, which they don’t want to change for the reasons best known to them.
Would you take up the issue with the Chief Justice of India?
I will go and meet the Honb’le CJI to brief him about all the facts and would request him to act firmly on the issue.
Do you think that there is a need to amend the Bar Council of India’s rules framed under The Advocates’ Act, 1961, to deal the uncle judges issue?
Rule is right. But judges’ integrity should be so impeccable that their relations don’t influence their judgments. Former CJI YV Chandrachud when took over the post sent his son DY Chandrachud (now Allahabad HC chief justice) to practice at the Bombay HC. Unfortunately, there is a fall in the standards of both Bar and the Bench. They are not able to maintain the sanctity of their oath.
Will you take up the issue of implementation of the uncle judges’ transfer policy with the new government?
Not only the uncle judges’ transfer issue but changing the age-old collegium system will also be discussed with the new government.