Chief Justice’s Decorum Lesson For Lawyer Who Spoke Out Of Turn In Court

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Chief Justice's Decorum Lesson For Lawyer Who Spoke Out Of Turn In Court

New Delhi:

Schooling a lawyer on courtroom decorum, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud today said the Supreme Court “is not a (railway) platform where you can board any train”.

The strong remarks came after a lawyer started arguing in court out of turn. Around noon, the lawyer suddenly stood up and said he has submitted a public interest litigation for judicial reforms and wants an urgent hearing. The matter was not listed for the day.

The Chief Justice was livid at the sudden mention of an unlisted matter. “This is not a platform that you can board any train. Speak to a senior on how to behave in a court and what are the rules. You are a lawyer, right? You should know when and how to mention matters,” he said.

The lawyer persisted, saying that he is not against the judicial system, but only wants improvements.

The Chief Justice then asked where he practises. The lawyer responded that he appears in the high court and lower courts. “Why don’t you work with a senior advocate who can train him in (courtroom) decorum and mannerisms,” the Chief Justice asked.

A stickler for courtroom decorum, the Chief Justice has often pulled up advocates who have crossed the etiquette line. Earlier this month, a lawyer arguing at high pitch was in for a reprimand from the Chief Justice.

“Where do you normally practice? You can’t browbeat us by raising your voice. This has not happened in the 23 years of my career, and it will not happen in my last year. Lower your pitch,” he said.

“Is this the way you argue before the first court of the country? Is this how you always shout at judges? Lower your pitch,” Chief Justice repeated. The lawyer eventually apologised to the Chief Justice.

Last year, he had noticed a lawyer talking over his cellphone inside the courtroom. The Chief Justice had asked the lawyer if the court “is a market where he can chat over the phone” and asked the court’s staff to confiscate it.

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