Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Come February 28, a proclaimed pack of 10,000 lawyers of Orissa will oblige the “supremo” of the ruling party of Orissa Naveen Patnaik in a conclave at Cuttack, willing to act hoods of BJD, under the banner of the Conch and styled BJD lawyers Forum.
The Forum convener has told the press last Sunday that it was conceptualized by “the chief minister” four months ago.
How should the Bar Council react to this? Today is Saturday and thus a week has elapsed. The Bar Council, even though its members have known of this through the massive publicity it has been given to, is keeping mum, like confused persons stay nonchalant.
Bar Council is the controller of practitional ethics of lawyers and practitional ethics necessitates that the lawyer must not be acting hood of vested interest politicians, specifically of the ruling party.
Most of the cases are instituted against misrule. And misrule is perpetrated by the ruling party, in the instant case, BJD in Orissa.
In whole of Orissa a rule of oppression is going on. Maximum number of employees are working as daily wage earners on contract, even though they are working against regular posts and exactly as regular employees work. Often they come to courts against exploitation by the administration run by the ruling party, in the instant case, the BJD. Anganwadi workers to bloc grant teachers, all over Orissa are agitating against continuous exploitation and school and mass education department is a jungle of litigations. The victims come to courts for justice. Health workers to Doctors in Orissa are brutally oppressed by administration run for last 16 years by the BJD supremo and health department is another jungle of litigations. Lakhs of people of Orissa are perishing in prisons as under-trial-prisoners most of whom are getting acquittal as innocent. Police of the government of the BJD supremo are generally considered scourges by their innocent victims against whom the come to courts. Mark any area of administration, any department, there is misrule. Victims of misrule are spread over entire Orissa and their only or the last hope are the courts where lawyers function.
So, if lawyers act hoods of the ruling BJD in the government of which the people of the entire state are being tortured, exploited and misrules, to whom shall the victims of the misrule go for help against the illegalities they are being thrown into?
When the people are victims of misrule by the ruling BJD, if more than 10,000 lawyers, who are given license by the Bar Council to practice as lawyers in whom every seeker of justice can put his/her confidence, register themselves to act as hoods of the same BJD, how can the victims of misrule put their confidence in them? Who can give guarantee that these lawyers shall not sabotage their clients if any put confidence on them in legal battles against the misrules?
Instead of acting mute onlookers, the members of the Bar Council should wake up to the occasion and should ban the lawyers becoming hoods of BJD.
The Bar Council should appreciate that such shameless association of lawyers with the ruling BJD is bound to affect credibility of the legal profession.
The issue is as serious as tricky. It gives us an occasion to watch how the Bar Council is acting to save the profession of law from no-confidence of the people.