No more ‘My Lord’ and ‘Your Lordship’ in courts: Rajasthan High Court ends colonial era practice of addressing judges

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Published: July 16, 2019 11:40:52 AM

Using words like 'My Lord' and 'My Lordship' while addressing the judges or justices are believed to a colonial-era practice to show respectful attitude to the court.

Rajasthan High Court The Rajasthan High Court said that they are comfortable with lawyers addressing them simply as ‘sir’ or ‘srimanji’.

The Rajasthan High Court has asked the lawyers and litigants to do away with the colonial era practice of addressing judges as ‘My Lord’ or ‘Your Lordship’. The resolution to abandon the practice was passed during the first full High Court meeting chaired by new Chief Justice S Ravindra Bhatt on Sunday.

In a notification issued on Monday, the High Court Registrar said that judges have made a request to the lawyers and litigants to address them simply as ‘sir’ or ‘srimanji’.

“To honour the mandate of equality enshrined in the Constitution of India, the Full Court in its meeting dated 14.07.2019 has unanimously resolved to request the counsels and those who appear before the Court to desist from addressing the Hon’ble Judges as ‘My Lord’ and ‘Your Lordship’,” the notification reads.

Notably, the Bar Council of India (BCI) rules also bar lawyers when it comes to addressing the bench members as ‘My Lord’ or ‘Your Lordship’. According to the Chapter III A of Part VI of the BCI Rules, the lawyers can address the members of the bench in the High Courts and Supreme Court as ‘Your Honour’ or ‘Honourable Court’. When it comes to addressing the members of the bench in the subordinate courts or tribunals, the rules say that lawyers can address the judges directly as ‘sir’ or any equivalent word in respective regional languages.

Using words like ‘My Lord’ and ‘My Lordship’ while addressing the judges or justices are believed to a colonial-era practice to show respectful attitude to the court.

Earlier in 2014, the Supreme Court had issued a similar order. A bench of Justices HL Dattu and SA Bobde had then observed that it was not compulsory for lawyers and litigants to address the bench members as ‘My Lord’, ‘My Lordship’ or even ‘Your Honour’. The top court has said that judges can simply be addressed as ‘sir’ as a mark of respect to them.

The Supreme Court’s observation came while hearing a plea moved by advocate Shiv Sagar Tiwari who sought an order to do away with the colonial era practice of addressing the courts as ‘My Lord’ or ‘My Lordship’.

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