Bar and Bench are Two Arms of the Same Machinery: Bar-Bench Relationship
Bar and Bench are two arms of the same machinery, and unless they work harmoniously, justice cannot be properly administered through the courts of law. Following points will describe and explain the same.
1. Bar and Bench
The court hall where cases are conducted consists of two parts namely:
- The place where the judges sit is called as Bench.
- The place where the Advocate sit is called as Bar.
The term ‘Bench’ refers to the judges and the ‘Bar’ refers to the Advocates. Bar-Bench relation means the cordial relation between the judges and the Advocates.
The faith on the judiciary to the general public and the speedy justice mainly depends on the cordial relation between the judges and the Advocates and the role of Advocates are equally important to the judges in the Administration of justice. Rendering justice is their joint responsibility.
2. Role of the Bar to Strengthen Bar-Bench Relation
To strengthen the Bar-Bench relation, an Advocates must take the following steps:
- They should give due respect to the judges and they must avoid speaking ill of the judges and the judiciary.
- They should help the judges in the trial of the cases by presenting the relevant law in the correct and clear manner. They should never act in such away to irritate the judges.
- If the judges pronounces a wrong order, they should not criticize the judges. They should try to set right the wrong order through appeal.
- For getting favourable order they should not give pressure or influence the judges.
- If the judges behavior is irritating and disrespect to the Advocates, he should not enter in to a direct confrontation with the judge. Through the Bar Association the matter should be discussed with the judge in his chamber and shall request to avoid such misbehavior.
3. Role of the Bench to Strengthen Bar–Bench Relations
To strengthen Bar-Bench relation the Judges should follow and practice the following steps:
- Judicial Respect: Just like the Advocates are giving respect to the Judges, the Judges should also give respect to the Advocates and the brethren Judges.
- Patient Hearing: Judges should hear the case with open and respective mind without any prejudice or bias. They should act only to the interest of justice. They should give sufficient opportunity for the Advocates to present the case in full.
- Impartiality:Judges should act impartially. They should not act in favour of any Advocate or a party to the dispute.
- Avoidance of Interruptions: As far as possible, Judges must avoid interruptions while the Advocate is examining witnesses and arguing the case. Unwarranted interference and adverse comments by the Judges may upset the Advocates and thereby he may not be able to present the case properly. Interference of a Judge may be limited to the following circumstances:
- to prevent repetition and waste of time
- to check the relevancy
- to get clarifications
- to express courts view on a point and
- to promote speedy disposal of the case.
- Proper Interpretation: During the process of administration of justice, often the courts have to interpret the Act, Rules, Codes, Regulations, Orders, Notifications, Circulars, Bylaws etc. in order to ascertain the actual meaning of the provisions or to remove the ambiguity or inconsistency. In such cases proper interpretation should be given with the object of rendering complete justice to the parties.
- Avoidance of Unreasonable Adjournments: Adjournments are given to afford reasonable opportunity to the parties to present the case. As far as possible cases shall not be adjourned without reasonable and sufficient grounds. Unreasonable adjournment is the main reason for the mounting arrears of cases causing hardship to the parties.
- Speedy Disposal: ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’, hence cases should be disposed off as quickly as possible. When preference is given for disposal of old cases, new cases should not get into arrears.
- Avoiding Unwarranted Comments: Judges should not make any unwarranted comments in the open court about the Advocate’s lack of knowledge in the law. They should not ask any Advocate to leave the court, without sufficient reasons. Similarly, they should not ask any Advocate not to come to his court hereafter.
- Knowing in Law: Judges should possess deep knowledge in law. They should have the ability to apply the proper law to the disputed facts and to take the right decision.
- Independence: Judges have the primary responsibility to protect and preserve the independence of judiciary.
- Integrity: A Judge should be honest and morally upright. He should have personal and intellectual integrity. His character and conduct should be praise worthy.
- Industriousness: It means regular and systematic hard work and study. A Judge should get acquainted with the latest developments and changes in the law by regular updating of the knowledge.
- Meeting of Judges and Lawyers: To strengthen Bar-Bench relation, at regular intervals meeting of judges and the Advocates shall be arranged. In such meetings the respective sides difficulties can be discussed and the differences can be sorted out.
3. Legal Duties of an Advocate to the Court
Bar Council of India Rules, 1975 Part V, Chapter II Standards of Professional Conduct and Etiquette imposes many duties on the Advocates, a few among which are reproduced below.
Duty to the Court
In the administration of the justice, the role of the advocate is to help the court to take a right decision in the dispute.
- An Advocate shall show the due respect to the court and shall never act in any manner to undermine the confidence in the judiciary.
- He shall not exert or attempt to exert any personal influence on the decision of the court, nor shall give any impression that he possesses personal influence with the judge before whom he normally practices.
- He shall be always punctual in attending courts in the prescribed dress.
- He shall be fair and frank in the court proceedings.
- He shall not include any fact which he knows to be false in the pleadings, petitions or affidavits.
- He shall not ask for any adjournment of a case without genuine reasons.
- He shall not communicate privately with the judges to influence them relating to any pending case.
- He shall not speak ill of judges or use abusive remarks about them. But, if the judge behaves improperly, it is not only the right but also his duty to report it to the proper authorities.
- He shall not interrupt when the counsel for the other side or the judge is speaking.
- He shall appear in the court in the prescribed dress and his appearances shall always be presentable. He shall not wear bands or gown in the public places.
- He shall not practice before a judge if he is related to him.
- He shall not act or plead in any matter in which he has pecuniary (monetary) interest.
- He shall not appear for any organization, institution, society or corporation if he is the member of the executive committee of such organization, institution, society or corporation.