?Your Lordship? bows out

It's official now. The correct form of addressing the court will henceforth not be the age-old "My Lord" and "Your Lordship", rather it will be "Your Honour" or the "Honorable Court".

india Updated: Apr 20, 2006 04:06 IST

It's official now. The correct form of addressing the court will henceforth not be the age-old "My Lord" and "Your Lordship", rather it will be "Your Honour" or the "Honorable Court".

At the subordinate court level, it will be "sir" or any of its regional equivalents, once the change of the relevant rules is notified.

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), the top association of lawyers in the country, formally passed a resolution on April 8 junking the "colonial" Lordship for the equally respectful "Your Honour".

Though there have been sporadic demands from certain sections in the past for doing away with "My Lord", the Association only decided to set in motion the process of change after Chief Justice Y.K. Sabharwal threw out a PIL seeking a legal change in it.

"It is up to the collective wisdom of the lawyers. If they want to change the system let them hold consultations with the state Bar Council and Bar Associations…," he had said.

After much deliberations, and of course, with a no-objection from the apex court, the SCBA decided to insert a new chapter as Chapter IIIA in Part VI of the Rules of the Bar Council of India heralding the change.

Though a section of the legal fraternity still feels that it will be a long time before the terms "My Lord" or "Your Lordships" are consigned to the footnotes of Indian judicial history.

"We've been using it for so long that it's now almost become involuntary," said one lawyer. Though no one knows whether there is a sunset clause in the rules.

First Published: Apr 20, 2006 04:06 IST