Monday, March 16, 2009

Nearly a thousand lawyers resolve to shun the Hindu

Nearly a thousand lawyers (by 6p.m today) resolved to boycott sections of media which have continued to spread misinformation and mischievous half truths about the events that took place on the 19th of February 2009 and the lawyers' struggle for justice thereafter. Taking exception to the shameful manner in which a section of the media has pandered to the state cause and highlighted only partisan views, hundreds of lawyers have resolved to begin their boycott of the sections of the media which has been spiteful and malevolent, beginning with suspending their subscription and support to The Hindu. As and when courts recommence, lawyers resolved to ensure that publication is not effected in many matter, whether in the civil or company jurisdiction in any issue of The Hindu or the Business Line.
Lawyers do not question the right of the media to carry any view. Was it not Voltaire who said "I may not agree with a word of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it". However, open hostility and partisan comment cannot hide behind the smokescreen of self righteousness, neutrality and the pretence of journalistic ethics. Clearly even in this age of civic indifference and consumerism, an informed consumer(?) of news has not only the choice, but also the right to exercise it.


  1. Folks, could you please suggest alternatives?

    Among Tamil dailies, தமிழ் ஓசை (Tamil Osai) seems to be reporting news with responsibility. At page 9, the lawyer's strike is covered with the title 'போராட்டத்தை நிறுத்தமாட்டோம்' - வழக்குரைஞர்கள் மீண்டும் எச்சரிக்கை, along with a picture.

    The front page headlines in Tamil Osai read: தேர்தலில் ஓட்டுக்கு பணம் தருவதை தடுக்க நடவடிக்கை - 2,500 பார்வையாளர்கள் அமர்த்தம் - தமிழகத்திற்கு 150 பேர்: அடுத்த மாதம் வருகின்றனர். This news, afaik, was not even reported by the so called "national" daily!

    Tamil Osai also carried news on the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka titled "போர்க் குற்றம் தொடர்பான எமது அறிக்கை சரியானதே", on the UN justification of its earlier UN Press Release titled "Serious violations of international law committed in Sri Lanka conflict: UN human rights chief", dated 13 March 2009 at:
    The question of prosecuting Sri Lankan Government for war crimes, along with others, is now under study at UN.

  2. Hi guys,

    It is true that pursuant to the resolution letters have been submitted to the Registrar General. Despite that the lawyers names are being printed on the cause list, and the CJ and others are resorting to dismissals on merits and that too by showing "NO APPEARANCE".

    No one has attempted to take up the issue with the RG and they claim to be busy with the protest march.

    This naturally encourages dissent and motivates the lawyers to return to work.

    Hope you guys offer an opinion.

    March 17, 2009 6:38 AM

  3. The தினத்தந்தி, dated 17-3-2009, Chennai edition, had the story titled 'ஐகோர்ட்டில் வக்கீலை போல நீதிபதி முன் வாதாடிய பாட்டி'. Her grievances before the court were: "எனது கணவர் விபத்தில் இறந்துவிட்டார். எனது மூத்த மகனை போலீசார் அழைத்துப்போய் கொன்றுவிட்டனர். என்னிடம் இருந்த இடத்தையும் பிடுங்கிக் கொண்டனர். என் சொந்த ஊரில் வாழ முடியாத நிலை ஏற்பட்டுள்ளது. எனக்கு வருமானம் இல்லை" It is further reported that Hon'ble Justice R. Sudhakar asked the old lady to file a written memo listing all her grievances, and has directed the District Collector and the SP to file a reply. This is typical of the kind of proceedings that come before the High Court for redress.

    Please note that there is no lawyer in the above picture. What is the guarantee that the writ of the court would run as per law? Given that polycarbonate lathis designed by the DRDO meant for warfare were also used by a huge force, backed up by automatic weapons, against unarmed officers of the court, and the culprits who ordered it are at large, it is puerile to ask lawyers to resume work as though this is a minor clash between a few "hooligans". Our very constitutional guarantees to life and liberty are under serious threat, and the only institution that could question state action itself has been threatened with brutality.

    This land of Gandhi, Buddha, Manu Needhi Cholan and Avvayar has repeatedly seen violence but ultimately peace, truth and justice have prevailed. I hope we all can appreciate the spirit of the old lady litigant who was heard saying:

    "நான் குமரியாக இருந்த போது கோர்ட்டில் வழக்குகள் போட்டேன், இப்போது பாட்டியாகிவிட்டேன். இருந்தாலும் எனது வழக்குகளில் தீர்வு கிடைக்கும் வரை ஓயமாட்டேன்."

    Satyameva jayete!

    The fuller version from the Mundaka Upanishad:

    satyameva jayate nānṛtaṁ
    satyena panthā vitato devayānaḥ |
    yenā kramantyṛṣayo hyāptakāmā
    yatra tat satyasya paramaṁ nidhānam ||


    Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood.
    Through truth the divine path is spread out by which
    the sages whose desires have been completely fulfilled,
    reach where that supreme treasure of Truth resides.