A lawyer cannot be penalised for addressing a High Court or Supreme Court as “My Lord” or “Your Lordhsip”, the colonial expressions still used in Indian courts. A Punjab and Haryana high court division bench refused to interfere in a petition challenging Bar Council of India (BCI) rules , which provides the manner to address the courts at different levels.
The high court bench observed that neither any action had been taken against any lawyer so far nor the petitioner himself had been penalised for using the expression.
BCI rules provides, superior courts (Supreme Court and high court ) should be addressed as “Your Honour” or “Hon'ble Court” and in the subordinate courts and tribunals, it is open to the lawyers to address the court as “Sir”. The lawyer, Verinder Pal Sharma, had submitted that he uses the word “My Lord” and “Your Lordship” and as the use of these words may violate the provisions in the rules, action may be taken against him.
The high court division bench of justice Rajesh Bindal and justice HS Sidhu dismissed the petition, observing that the petitioner was not able to show any provision in the rules which provides that for violation of these provisions, any action could be taken against any advocate.
Since May, 2006, when the rules were amended, no action has been taken either against the petitioner or to his knowledge against any other advocate for alleged violation of the aforesaid rule, the HC observed further stating that in this background, the court does not find any reason to interfere in the writ petition.