Counsel Addressing Court in High Decibel Amounts to Misconduct: Telangana HC

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The court observed that advocates have a duty to maintain harmony with the bench and uphold the integrity of the legal system as officers of the court

During a recent hearing, the Telangana High Court addressed a concerning trend of the increasing practice of advocates addressing the court in a high-decibel manner, with the apparent intention of either impeding the court's proceedings or pressuring it into taking certain actions on their cases. The court highlighted that such conduct not only obstructs the administration of justice but also constitutes misconduct under Section 35 of the Advocates Act.

Justice T. Vinod Kumar, presiding over the court, made the observation and cited the precedent set in the case of ’N.G. Dastane v. Shrikant Shivde’, the court emphasised the serious implications of such behaviour on the legal profession.

Furthermore, the court underscored the responsibilities of counsels as officers of the court, emphasising their duty to conduct cases in a fair and respectful manner stating that “Counsels who adopt such practices are jeopardizing the harmony with the bench along with their professional careers, by ignoring the fact that they are not only required to conduct the case in a fair manner, but while doing so they are also officers of the Court.”

Quoting the case of ‘P.D. Gupta v. Ram Murti’, the court reiterated that advocates have a duty to maintain harmony with the bench and uphold the integrity of the legal system. Despite asserting its resilience against such tactics, the court deemed it necessary to address the issue formally, “so that it would act as a cautionary tale to the Counsels appearing before the Court,” the court said.

The observation came while the court was addressing a writ petition, brought forward by a ward member, challenging the legality of an unnumbered notice dated March 30, 2024, concerning the election of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of Adibatla Municipality, who had been removed from the position of Chairperson. The petitioner sought a Writ of Mandamus, declaring the notice issued as illegal, arbitrary, and in violation of principles of natural justice, as well as Articles 14, 16, 19, and 21 of the Constitution of India. Furthermore, the petitioner demanded the suspension of the notice.

In its order, the court highlighted that the petitioner had previously approached the court twice. The first petition, challenged the Form – II issued for considering a No-confidence motion against the petitioner on February 09, 2024. However, this petition was withdrawn on February 08, 2024. Subsequently, the petitioner filed the second petition, seeking the same relief as the first petition. This second petition was dismissed by the court as the petitioner had suppressed the filing of the earlier petition.

In the present petition, the Court observed that the petitioner failed to mention that a no-confidence motion had been moved against her, resulting in her removal from the position of Chairperson.

The Court noted that the petitioner's conduct indicated a pattern of approaching the Court without a legitimate basis and resorting to suppression of facts.

In light of this, the Court imposed exemplary costs of ₹1,00,000 (Rupees one lakh only) on the petitioner. The costs were directed to be paid to the Telangana High Court Legal Services Committee within four weeks from the date of receipt of the order.


Cause Title: Kotha Arthica v The State of Telangana [ WP NO. 8719 OF 2024]