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Colonial forms of address to stop in courts

April 18, 2006 10:52 IST

A notice, on its way to the Official Gazette, will, on its publication, stop forms of address like 'my lord' and 'your lordship' from being used in Indian courts. The Bar Council of India announced this on Tuesday and said the new rule will come into force on its publication in the Official Gazette, which is the statutory body of Indian lawyers.

''The words 'my lord' and 'your lordship' are relics of the colonial past,'' Council chairman Jagannath Patnaik said, citing a resolution adopted on February 11.

The new form of address in courts will be 'your honour' or 'honourable court' in the Supreme Court and high courts; in lower courts and tribunals, 'sir', or an equivalent word in the respective regional language', can be used.

This will be ''consistent with the obligation of the Bar to show a respectful attitude towards the court and bear in mind the dignity of judicial office', a Council document said.

The Council resolution has been circulated to state bar councils, bar associations, courts and communicated to the Supreme Court Bar Association, registrar general and high court registrars.

Recipients were given six weeks to respond, failing which ''it shall be presumed that your Council is in agreement with the Bar Council of India and that your Council has no opinion to offer'.

The Council communication acknowledged 'a general feeling that addressing judges as my land your lordship are the perpetuation of the colonial legacy.''

It stressed on 'Indianisation, keeping in view the need for upholding the national pride and giving highest respect to the high offices of the judges and the Supreme Court and high courts by addressing them in the appropriate manner, devoid of any reflection of (the) colonial past'.

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