Over 3,000 advocates boycotted courts earlier this week in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu in protest of a circular issued by the Madras High Court.
The circular asked all advocates to provide their identify proof as well as of another lawyer attesting their client’s plea while submitting it to the court.
While the advocates initially announced an indefinite strike, they subsequently said they would decide on withdrawal of the strike in a meeting later this week after high court stayed the order .
New Requirements Increase Burden
One unidentified advocate stated that the petitions are usually accompanied with a letter when submitted to the court.
The Madras high court’s order to attach identify proof and enrolment IDs was being opposed because lawyers said they cannot carry “so many photographs every day “ and it would also not help resolve the problem of unqualified lawyers .
The advocate noted that after opposition from all advocates, the high court issued has another order on December 30, which asked them to provide a letter having their identity proof along with another letter from a separate lawyer attesting it with his or her proof.
An advocate pointed out that while attesting a petition was a burden for another lawyer in itself, further requiring his identify proof was surely not acceptable. He added that such measures would not resolve the basic issue.
Unqualified Lawyers Don’t Enter Courtrooms
A city-based lawyer observed that most of the unqualified lawyers operate outside the court and use in-house lawyers for courtrooms. So asking for identify proofs or attestations was “an unnecessary procedure.”
He suggested that technology be used to remove such unqualified advocates, adding that the enrolment number being provided along with the petitions should be used verification .
According to advocates the problem of unqualified lawyers was a big issue and other measures should be introduced to tackle it.