Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court TB Radhakrishnan has said that judges should no longer be addressed as ‘My Lord’. He asked to address them as sir. The Registrar General of the Calcutta High Court, Rai Chatterjee, on Wednesday issued such an order on the direction of the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court.
The order has been sent to all the district judges and district sessions courts in West Bengal. The instruction says, from now on, sir can be used instead of my lord. Instead of the colonial culture mentality of the address, this time it can be called sir instead of My Lord, Your Honor, or Sir or Lordship.
Public interest litigation was filed in the Supreme Court of India in 2014 seeking annulment of this My Lord or Lordship. A division bench by Supreme Court Justice HL Dattu and Justice Sharad Arvind Bob in the case said in a judgment that addressing judges as Lord, Lordship or Your Honor is not mandatory. Sir can be called to show respect to the judges.
The Calcutta High Court is the oldest High Court in India.
Following the verdict, the Rajasthan High Court took a decision last year. At the initiative of the Chief Justice of that High Court, S Rabindra Bhat, it was decided to address the judges in the full court meeting. Earlier, in 2006, Delhi High Court Judge S Murali Dhar had introduced him as Sir. The judge was transferred from Delhi to the Punjab and Haryana High Court a few months ago and issued the same order. In 2006, the Bar Council of India also proposed to cancel the address of My Lord.
Former West Bengal lawyer General Jayant Mitra said, “It is a praiseworthy initiative. There is a sense of subjugation in my Lord’s address. Is there any reason why the British should still carry on with their imposed habits even after the British have left?”
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