Shillong Bar Association up in Arms Against HC Chief Justice
Meghalaya High Court
SHILLONG: The Shillong High Court Bar Association has expressed concern over the alleged abusive nature of Chief Justice (Acting), High Court of Meghalaya, Justice Umanath Singh, towards the senior advocates as well as junior members of the Bar.
Briefing reporters on Monday, the new President of the Association and senior Advocate VGK Kynta said that in an emergency general body meeting of the Shillong High Court Bar Association held on Monday at the Bar Building in the Bar premises in the afternoon, hundreds of members of the Bar who were present endorsed the decision to write to the Chief Justice of India, Union Law minister, Chief Minister of Meghalaya and various authorities to apprise them of the alleged high-handedness of the Chief Justice and the difficulties faced by the members of the Bar and that he be transferred elsewhere.
Kynta alleged that on November 14, the Chief Justice in the open court threatened to take away the gowns of senior lawyers, draw contempt proceedings against them and put them behind bars. “This same behaviour is meted out to government officials, police and others who appear in court. The meeting decided to send a representation in this regard to the Supreme Court”, Kynta said.
The Association said the lawyers were compelled to register their protest, as they are disturbed over the manner in which the proceedings of the Court are being conducted by the Acting Chief Justice.
The members of the Bar also raised the issue of designating Aman Sinha as senior advocate by the Meghalaya High court which according to them is contrary to the rules framed by the High Court.
In a positive gesture, the members of the Association have decided not to resort to any agitation for the sake of maintaining the dignity of the Judiciary.
However, some lawyers who did not wish to be quoted said that the Chief Justice was trying to raise the bar of the High Court and to bring in a new level of professionalism. Lack of preparedness to argue cases cogently and seeking adjournments on flimsy reasons leading to delay in cases are reasons that irked the Chief Justice.
According to them, the intention of the Chief Justice (Acting) is to bring some order into the system as there are many loopholes in the manner in which the Government officials, police and prosecution present their case in court.
Earlier, due to the resignation of KS Kynjing as President of the Bar, the meeting confirmed Kynta who was the Vice President as the new President till the next elections are held sometime in March or April 2015.
The House also elected S. Chakraborty, a senior member of the Bar as Vice President.
The Joint registrar-cum secretary to Chief Justice (Acting) Umanath Singh on Monday said that the Chief Justice treats the lawyers as family members.
“If there is any problem, they are open to meet him for discussion and solution”, the Joint registrar said when asked about the reaction of the Chief Justice about the grievances of the lawyers.
According to the joint registrar, in fact, the Chief Justice does not have any idea on what prompted the lawyers to agitate.
The official also said that may be some vested interests wanted to create problem to which he is not concerned.
Regarding the appointment of Aman Sinha as senior advocate, the official said that appointment was not done during the tenure of the present Chief Justice (Acting)