No more ‘My Lord’, ‘Your Lordship’ in Punjab & Haryana HC
Ajay Sura, TIMES OF INDIA
CHANDIGARH: In a historical move to discard the colonial practice of addressing the judges of the high court as ‘My Lord’ or ‘Your Lordship‘, the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association on Thursday passed a resolution asking its members not to address the court using the traditional phrase ‘My Lord’.
In its resolution passed unanimously by around 4500 members strong lawyers association has decided that in future the judges should be addressed as ‘Sir’ or ‘Your Honour’. The decision was taken in the general house meeting of the bar held in the jam-packed bar room of the high court on Thursday afternoon. With this, the Punjab and Haryana high court has become second high court in the country after Kerala high court advocates Association that had passed such resolution in June 2007 to take such step.
Talking to the development, President of the High Court Bar Association, Kulbir Singh Dhaliwal said that the bar body has unanimously resolved to stop addressing judges as ‘My Lord’ or ‘Your Lordship’ from Thursday.
Dhaliwal further stated, “We passed the resolution to endorse the already existing rules in this concerned framed by the Bar Council of India (BCI) in 2006 that had resolved that the form of address in the Supreme Court and high courts should be ‘Your Honour’ or ‘Honourable Court’. About the forcibility of the resolution, Dhaliwal added that because of habit, some lawyers may continue to say ‘My Lord’, but gradually they will get used to the new phrase. He also said that bar has received positive response from the judges on this issue.
The BCI – apex body of the lawyers in country had adopted a resolution in April 2006 and added a new Rule 49(1)(j) in the Advocates Act. As per the rule, lawyers can address the court as ‘Your Honour’ and refer to it as ‘Honourable Court’. If it is a subordinate court, lawyers can use terms such as ‘Sir’ or any equivalent phrase in the regional language concerned. Explaining the rationale behind the move, the Bar Council had held that the words such as ‘My Lord’ and ‘Your Lordship’ were “relics of the colonial past”.
The resolution has since been circulated to all state councils and the Supreme Court for adoption but over five years now, the resolution largely remained on paper. However, in an unprecedented move in October 2009, one of the judges of Madras HC, Justice K Chandru had banned lawyers from addressing his court as ‘My lord’ and ‘Your lordship’
- The Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010 (indialawyers.wordpress.com)