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Appointment as Advocate Commissioner not a job but an honour: Kerala HC

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Appointment as Advocate Commissioner not a job but an honour: Kerala HC

Kochi, March 6 (IANS) The Kerala High Court on Wednesday pointed out that being appointed as an advocate commissioner by a court ought to be considered as an honour, rather than employment for the purpose of getting monetary remuneration.

A bench of Justice Devan Ramachandran made the observation while hearing a plea in which a magistrate removed the name of a lawyer from the list of advocates who could be appointed as commissioners, because she asked to be paid a higher amount as ‘bhatta’ (allowance) for acting as commissioner on a previous occasion.

“Unfortunately, the young lawyer did not understand that when she was appointed as a commissioner, it was an honour that was given to her but she worked under the impression that she was entitled to charge as if it is a commercial quest by the amount of work she has completed and the number of hours she has invested,” said the Court.

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But Justice Ramachandran further pointed out that the response of the magistrate was uncharitable as it failed to counsel her and instead, struck her name from the list of commissioners.

The High Court said, “The learned judge reacted to the circumstances in the manner as was apt but should have also been careful enough to understand that the mind of a young lawyer is like a turbulent sea on account of the vagaries and uncertainties that face every new entrant.

“It requires the commitment of both the Bar and the Bench for any person to continue in the profession. This is not charity, but an obligation on both sides because we want the best of both sides to continue in the profession and give succor to those who come to us seeking justice.”

The Court observed that this was not an issue that can be construed as one with the Bar and Bench on opposite sides as such a divide would be detrimental to the legal system as a whole.

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“It is only when we view these two sections (the Bar and the Bench) as not the two tyres on a bicycle, but as a unicycle, can we really hope for a very effective and efficient functioning of the system… The Bench also has an equal duty not only to conduct itself with the eminence that is expected but also to counsel and mentor the members of the Bar, particularly, the youngest of them,” said Justice Ramachandran.

–IANS

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