HC warns lawyers against dishonesty while presenting cases

    Mumbai, Aug 17 (PTI) The Bombay High Court has warnedlawyers against resorting to dishonesty or wrong tactics whilepresenting their cases, and said such behaviour can beexpected from litigants but not from members of the Bar. A division bench of justices A S Oka and A A Sayed gotirked when a lawyer, while arguing a petition filed by fourpersons seeking to quash a case registered against him,pointed out to the court that Justice Oka had in 1997 givenlegal advice to the company, Vidyut Metallics Pvt Ltd, inwhich one of the petitioners was a director. The lawyer submitted to the bench copies of the lettersand said, "Since this petition is coming up for the first timebefore this bench, I felt it appropriate to point this out tothe court." The advocate, appearing for the complainant company(Vidyut Metallics), however, told the court that earlier acontempt appeal filed by the same petitioners was heard anddismissed by this bench, and the issue of Justice Oka havinggiven legal advice was not pointed out then. The court then questioned the petitioners and theirlawyer as to why these letters were not pointed out earlierand why they were submitted now. "What made the petitioners point out these letters now?This is being done just to embarrass the court and make itlook like we are being dishonest. Judges are also human. Wemay also err. How do you expect someone to remember whathappened in 1997," Justice Oka said yesterday. The petitioners’ lawyer explained that the letters werenot traceable when the contempt appeal petition was heard lastyear, but have now been traced by the petitioners from theoffice godown. To this, Justice Oka said, "What made the petitionersgo search for it in the godown? We can understand litigantsresorting to such mischiefs but members of the Bar (lawyers)cannot resort to such tactics and dishonesty. Be honest.Members of the Bar are obligated to be honest." The court then posted the matter for hearing on August22 and directed the petitioners’ counsel Ashok Mundargi toremain present before it on that day. PTI SP GKDVSRE

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