The High Court of Karnataka on Friday ‘invited’ an advocate to a videoconference hearing to pull him up for sending repeated emails and making phone calls to the Registrar (Judicial) and the secretary to the Chief Justice and using abusive language against them.
A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi, summoned advocate Jagadish Shastry telling him that it wanted to ‘congratulate’ him for his behaviour.
Pointing out to him that the decision on posting every petition and responding to mails is decided based on Chief Justice’s instruction as per the Standard Operating Procedure devised in view of COVID-19, the Bench told him that he could complain to the Chief Justice of India if he had any complaint against the Chief Justice.
When the advocate, while apologising for his conduct, said that he had no grievance against the Chief Justice but was upset that a petition had not been posted, the Chief Justice said his conduct discouraged employees of the High Court, who were working under stress when 101 members of the total around 1,200 staff of the court had tested positive for COVID-19.
The Chief Justice asked the advocate to find out which High Court in the country was allowing physical hearing of cases in this situation, while pointing out that nine Benches had been designated for physical hearing of cases apart from hearing cases through videoconference.
When Advocate-General Prabhuling K. Navadgi said that generally advocates didn’t act like that, the Chief Justice agreed with him, saying that by and large advocates were cooperating with the court staff and only a few of them were behaving rudely quite often.