New Delhi | February 07, 2006 1:15:17 AM IST
The Supreme Court Monday dismissed as withdrawn a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to put an end to the colonial practice of addressing judges of high courts and the apex court as "My Lord" and "Lordship".
A bench of Chief Justice Y.K. Sabharwal and Justice C.K. Thakker asked the petitioner, the Progressive and Vigilant Lawyers Forum, to sort out the matter at the level of the Bar Council of India and state bar councils.
The bench told counsel Sanjeev Bhatnagar to "sort it out yourself as there is hardly anything to be done by this court. These are not matters where judiciary should intervene."
Counsel submitted that all the court rules were silent on the issue. He also pointed out a 1972 Supreme Court Bar Association’s resolution asking lawyers to address judges as "Mr. judge".
However, after the bench said it would dismiss the petition, counsel sought its withdrawal and the petition was "dismissed as withdrawn".
The petitioner contended that when India attained independence in 1947, it was expected that the "scars of colonialism" would be obliterated sooner than later.
In this very spirit the Supreme Court had issued a circular in the early 1950s that judges of superior courts would be addressed as `Sir’ or `Mr. judge’. But it was not to be as judges were neither ready to adapt themselves to new democratic mores nor were lawyers prepared to risk their practice, it said and sought a direction to put an end to this practice.