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The Government Pleader Vs. G.K. Tatke - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Application No. 574 of 1922
Judge
Reported inAIR1923Bom234; (1923)25BOMLR264
AppellantThe Government Pleader
RespondentG.K. Tatke
Excerpt:
pleader - professional misconduct-addressing insulting letter to magistrate-instructions from client-notice for misconduct-conditional apology.; it is not permissible to a pleader to address to a magistrate a letter containing vulgar abuse and a demand for apology followed by a threat of legal proceedings instructions from a client are no excuse whatever for a pleader exceeding what is his duty towards the court.; where a notice has been issued against a pleader for misconduct, he cannot escape punishment by offering to the court a conditional apology. - section 3: [s.b. mhase, d.s. bhosale & a.s. oka, jj] offences of atrocities - complaint under held, merely because the caste of the accused is not mentioned in the fir stating whether he belongs to scheduled caste or scheduled tribe,..........31, 1921, the magistrate delivered judgment acquitting the accused. the papers were sent up to the district judge by the magistrate in consequence of the view which the magistrate had formed of the evidence given before him on behalf of the accused. the district judge called for a report from the subordinate judge and passed orders on march 6, 1922. he said in conclusion:i do not agree with the magistrate's view of the evidence and consider that his strictures are unwarranted. his remark that the sub-judge's order is a fraud, presumably moans that it was obtained by a fraud, but i have already said that there was absolutely no reason for any one connected with the court to approach the complainant except for the purpose of serving the process upon her. it is therefore unnecessary to bake.....
Judgment:

Norman Macleod, Kt., C.J.

1. One Janai filed a complaint in the Court of the Second Class Magistrate of the Patan Taluka against two persons accusing them of having committed the offence of wrongful confinement. On August 31, 1921, the Magistrate delivered judgment acquitting the accused. The papers were sent up to the District Judge by the Magistrate in consequence of the view which the Magistrate had formed of the evidence given before him on behalf of the accused. The District Judge called for a report from the Subordinate Judge and passed orders on March 6, 1922. He said in conclusion:

I do not agree with the Magistrate's view of the evidence and consider that his strictures are unwarranted. His remark that the Sub-Judge's order is a fraud, presumably moans that it was obtained by a fraud, but I have already said that there was absolutely no reason for any one connected with the Court to approach the complainant except for the purpose of serving the process upon her. It is therefore unnecessary to bake any departmental action and the papers are returned.

2. Mr. Bhatye was the pleader concerning whom the Magistrate in his judgment had passed certain strictures on August 31, 1921. After Mr. Baker's order, Mr. Tatke, the present respondent, wrote a letter on behalf of Mr. Bhatye to the Magistrate, which is the subject-matter of the present complaint by the Government Pleader. The letter begins:

Please take notice of the following. My client Mr. P.G. Bhatye was examined as a witness for the defence before you in your Court in Criminal Case No. 40 of 1921 of the file of the Second Class Magistrate, Patan, on 30th July 1921.In the judgment of the said case, while you acquitted all the accused you have made certain remarks against my client, and my client being a Municipal Councillor, a landholder and a Pleader of status and position, is lowered in estimation and reputation in the eyes of the public and thereby is likely to suffer in his profession. You had also sent a copy of the said judgment to the District Judge, Satara, with your report for inquiry and action. You knew that my client as a Pleader was an officer of the Court and liable to be punished by the District Judge under the Disciplinary Jurisdiction and Legal Practitioners Act The tenor, tone and mould of your judgment dearly shows that you had a grudge and personal enmity against my client who is Brahmin by caste, and you thought that as the best opportunity to attack the character of my client under the garb of a judicial officer. My client still sincerely and honestly believes that you had no material to make objectionable remarks against him in your judgment. Before proceeding to take any action against you, my client thinks it his humble duty to draw your attention to the judgment and objectionable remarks therein and to give you sufficient opportunity to withdraw them.

3. The objectionable passages were then set out and the letter contained a general demand for an apology. A copy was sent to the Collector of Satara for his information. It is not suggested that this was a notice to the Magistrate under Section 80 of the Civil Procedure Code, The Magistrate complained to the District Judge about this letter. The District Judge who was then Mr. Percival, held an inquiry into the conduct of the opponent, and made a report to this Court on August 16, 1922. Exhibit 13 is the answer of the opponent dated August 12, 1922. He said there:

By writing the words charged against him the opponent begs to state that he did not give or intend to give any insult or threat to anybody : nor was there any idea of extorting any alteration is the judgment or extorting any apology. Whatever was said, was said under clear instructions from the client of the opponent. The object of the client was simply to get a redress for the wrong done to him. The opponent was not actuated by any personal motives in the matter. If the language in the letter is considered too strong. I have no hesitation in expressing regret for the same. The notice was given no publicity whatever. The notice was given in the form of a letter to Mr. Daduskar who was the party concerned and to the Collector who is the superior of Mr. Daduskar, The opponent honestly believes that there was no excess of privilege in the matter at all.

4. Now it is perfectly clear that that letter was a most improper letter for any pleader to write to a Magistrate with regard to the disposal of a particular case by that Magistrate; and if this explanation of Mr. Tatke was really expressive of what he believed to be the right course to take, then it is obvious that he has no knowledge whatever of what are the duties of a pleader with regard to Magistrates and Judges in this Presidency. It was perfectly open to him on instructions from his client to send a notice under Section 80 of the Civil Procedure Code. But whatever his instructions were, it would have been his duty as a pleader to send that notice strictly in accordance with the terms of that section. But this letter, which is now before us, merely contains vulgar abuse of the Magistrate, and a demand for an apology, apparently followed by a threat of further proceedings. Instructions from a client are no excuse whatever for a pleader exceeding what is his duty towards the Courts; and as it is presumed that a pleader knows what his responsibilities are in addressing Magistrates and Judges, it is difficult to believe that the respondent did not know that the language in this letter was far too strong, judged by the ordinary standards with which he should have been acquainted. Indeed there are too many cases in these Courts where notices have been issued against pleaders for misconduct, in which we have been told that if we think that the line which divides proper and improper conduct has been crossed then an apology would be tendered. The point I wish to make clear is that in most cases it is not for us to say whether the line is crossed or not, because it is absolutely plain on the record that the line has been crossed, certainly in this case it is too obvious, and a conditional apology of this character is valueless. If the Magistrate was of opinion on hearing the evidence that there had been an attempt to get up a case which was false in order to save the accused from being convicted, then he was certainly entitled to say so, and an aggrieved party had a remedy if he considered that the conclusions arrived at by the Magistrate were wrong. But in no circumstances would it be proper for a pleader after judgment to write to the Magistrate in the terms which are contained in this letter. We think that there was absolutely no justification for that letter; and that he writing of that letter amounts to misconduct. The only question before us then is whether we should content ourselves with administering a reprimand or whether we should deal with the respondent's Sanad. We content ourselves with a reprimand, hoping that the remarks that have fallen from the Bench will be carefully considered by the respondent with regard to the future.


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