The ?taint? that blurred sensible Bar issues! | india | Hindustan Times
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The ?taint? that blurred sensible Bar issues!

IF POLITICS has earned disrepute, one reason has to do with the shameless opportunism that often motivates politicians to rake up a public issue. But people have now become wiser; the more they have experienced the two-facedness of their professional or political leaders, the more shrewd they have become in discerning the truth hiding behind the apparent changing shades on their faces.

india Updated: May 15, 2006 00:41 IST
JB Sinha

IF POLITICS has earned disrepute, one reason has to do with the shameless opportunism that often motivates politicians to rake up a public issue. But people have now become wiser; the more they have experienced the two-facedness of their professional or political leaders, the more shrewd they have become in discerning the truth hiding behind the apparent changing shades on their faces.

The one example in recent times has been the huge clamour which the Sangh Parivar had raised in the country over the Ramjanmbhoomi issue. They took no time in dumping it into the dustbin after it helped the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) achieve their target, the glitter of power in Delhi. Not astonishing, therefore, that the recent attempt by LK Advani and Rajnath Singh to redraw desperately needed fresh political blood for the BJP by reviving the temple issue through their respective rath yatra just refused to click.

But what eventually takes the beating? None other than the cause, even a good one, when it is mounted on opportunism and self-interest of those who take the lead, igniting an agitation over it.

The scene was no different in the case of the power-wielders at the High Court Bar Association (HCBA) who enforced a strike, torpedoing once again the course of justice, during the second half of Thursday last and also the next day.
The issues raised in support of the HCBA strike call seemed all sensible; these have been on the minds of a number of Bar members for pretty long.

Like, the literal furnace which the corridors have been turned into by the extremely warm air emitted by the split air-conditioners (ACs), installed at window height in the court-rooms, the questionable practice of the kith and kin of sitting judges practising in the High Court, non-rotation of benches, non-functioal coolers for the Bar and non-allotment of chambers to lawyers, etc.
However, it took little time for most of the lawyers to discern that the strike call had popped out suddenly only now because the HCBA second-time elected president, CL Pandey, had felt gravely offended by the outcome of the recent full-court meeting of the judges.

He had been batting, along with other lawyers, for being designated as a “senior advocate”. But except eight, the remaining 27, including Pandey, were sent back to the pavilion for having failed to get the majority vote of the judges present at the full-court meeting.

“How is it that though the issues, concerning the Bar, have been there for long, the HCBA did not raise even a whine, but when the HCBA president lost the race for the “senior advocate” status, these issues became too important overnight for kicking up a sudden storm?” asked some lawyers.

“When CL Pandey was first elected HCBA president two years back, he was similarly declined the status of “senior advocate” by a full-court meeting of judges.

Then also was enforced a one-day strike by the HCBA under Pandey's leadership on what then had seemed a legitimate issue, but which was later dumped into the dustbin,” they recalled. It was just a “replay of once enacted specious drama”, quipped a young, witty lawyer.

At the end, stronger gets now the perception that some of those who overwork to capture power at the HCBA by winning its elections through the same shady tricks as politicians now employ, misuse the HCBA to enlarge their own “professional clout and connectivity” and thereby acquire a "higher status" or "unethical enrichment".

Towards the tactics used to achieve the target also proves rewarding the weapon of generating a “psychological fear” in the minds of those who refuse to “oblige” them.

At the end, what's the fate of the Bar issues (including the first-time raised debatable issue that one who gets elected as the HCBA president should 'necessarily' be designated by the High Court as a “senior advocate”)?
These issues may just refuse to take off, just for the reason that the 'taint' of self-serving opportunism made the strike smell of stink in the perception of lawyers in general. Sad but true.