-The Supreme Court said that a judge can be addressed as 'Your Honour' in the Indian Magisterial Court but not in Supreme Court.
-The CJ intervened saying that the law student probably has the US Supreme Court in mind.
A law student was given a lesson by the Supreme Court regarding the correct way of addressing the judges of the Supreme Court. This impromptu lesson was given by none other than Chief Justice of India.
The law student was arguing in person and introduced himself as a law student and went on to address the bench as “Your Honour”. On hearing this term for the bench, the CJI politely intervened asking the student if he has US Supreme Court in mind as the term “Your Honour” is used in US Supreme Court and Indian Magisterial Court but not in Indian Supreme Court. The student then apologised saying he would address the bench as “Your Lordship” to which the bench said, “Whatever, but don’t use inappropriate terms”.
The Bar Council of India regulates uniform standards of professional etiquettes to be followed by judges across the country. In 2006 the BCI had made amendments to the law in 2006 making it binding on lawyers to address the judges of High Court and Supreme Court as "Your Honour" or “Your Lordship”.
(In Part VI of the BCI Rules Governing Advocates, Chapter IIIA was added by way of a Gazette notification in May 2006 which said, “Consistent with the obligation of the Bar to show a respectful attitude towards the Court and bearing in mind the dignity of judicial office, the form of address to be adopted whether in the Supreme Court, high courts or subordinate courts should be as follows - “Your Honour” or “Hon’ble Court” in Supreme Court and High Courts and in the Subordinate Courts and Tribunals it is open to the Lawyers to address the Court as “Sir” or the equivalent word in respective regional languages.” This amendment carried an explanation with it for introducing this change. It said, “As the words ‘My Lord’ and ‘Your Lordship’ are relics of British colonial past, it is proposed to incorporate the above rule showing respectful attitude to the Court.”
Since this amendment, the Full Bench of the Rajasthan High Court in July 2019 resolved that lawyers shall be requested to “desist” from addressing judges of the High Court as “My Lord” and “Your Lordship”. Clearly, the High Court allowed the use of “Your Honour”.
While the rules permit the use of “Your Honour”, the preference shown by the CJI in being addressed by anything other than “Your Honour” has put lawyers in a fix. In 2014, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court by a lawyer Shiv Sagar Tiwari seeking a uniform standard to be adopted across all courts in the country for addressing judges of the higher courts and subordinate judiciary. Citing the 2006 BCI Rules laying down uniform standards, he demanded that the practice of addressing Supreme Court and High Court judges as “My Lord” and “Your Lordship” must end.)
(specific inputs taken from authentic source)
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