Hyderabad: K. Ramakant Reddy, is an Advocate in Supreme Court of India and High Court of Telangana as well. He gave a lecture on ‘The Untold Truth Leading to Crossroads between Advocacy and Constitution’ in a webinar held in the memory of justice V.R. Krishna Iyer.
Lawyers and judges should respect each other
Advocate Reddy says, in his three decades of practice, he has noticed that there must be respect from both the sides in the court. That means lawyers and judges should respect each other. When a lawyer does not respect a judge the society gets in to a state of confusion and this is not conducive for the institute of justice.
To be a complete successful lawyer; a lawyer should be hard working, a good listener, and listen carefully to the client. He should never wait for the case and think that he will start preparation after the case comes to him. This is not practical at all. A lawyer should update himself with the latest cases and with the previous ones as well and not just from the year he started practicing.
He gives examples as to why is it necessary for a lawyer to update his knowledge on legal cases and why the knowledge of the Constitution of India is necessary for a lawyer. No matter what branch of law the lawyer has chosen, like commercial tax, income tax, the arbitration, the legislature, transport, etc., knowledge of Constitution is a must for him. Unless a lawyer has a basic idea of the Indian Constitution, he will not be able to attend his client’s case properly. If a lawyer has basic knowledge of the Constitution of India and knows important cases and good judgements, he can do justice to his client and he would be satisfied and happy at the end of the day. Advocate Reddy says, a successful lawyer can do a lot of service to the society.
He further adds that the judges work throughout the year without any break. Even on Saturdays and Sundays, they have conference and seminars and legal meetings. They don’t have time to read long affidavits. Therefore, the affidavits should be short and succinct. The affidavit should be written in such a way that it should be a judgement within itself. This proves the lawyer’s capability and his respect towards the judge. The judges and lawyers all over India is like one family they respect and understand each other.
Lawyers should be masters of facts of case
He further advises the lawyers that they should be masters of the facts of the case that they deal with, this will help the institution of justice. He says the quality of judgement depends on the quality of assistance from the lawyers. To prove this theory, he gives his own example. He says, during 60th Lok Sabha election one of his friends Mr Rao, who was also an advocate called him at night saying that his car was stopped at a check post and the police found some papers at the back seat of the car which showed some account details for purchasing liquor bottles for the voters which comes under bribery. The police also found a laptop, cell phone and 10 lakh rupees under the dashboard of the car. Mr Rao told advocate Reddy that police have booked a case against him under section 177H and 177B Indian Penal Code (IPC), both sections come under section of 436 of Indian Constitution. Advocate Reddy convinced him that both the offences are bailable. He further says that it became a high profile case, as two MPs were connected to it. The accounts papers were related to sitting MPs who belonged to the opposition.
This incident flashed widely on media. Some politicians asserted that Advocate Rao would be arrested. Advocate Reddy represented him in the court and argued that it is a bailable offence and is at the discretion of the judges against a security of 10-20 thousand rupees. The defendant, Advocate Rao got the bail within half an hour of the hearing, against a surety of two bonds of ten thousand rupees each. Later, the investigation officer filed an application seeking production of the accused before the investigation officer for examination. But, advocate Reddy says he argued that it is not possible because 436 IPC is fundamental ACT, no conditions can be imposed. Advocate Reddy also cited two examples two successful legal cases; Nandini Sampathi and Puttu Swamy. Incidentally, both the cases were the judgement of Honorable Justice of Supreme Court, authored by Honorable Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer. The other case, Union of Indian, which Advocate Reddy cited, was also authored by Honorable Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer. The public prosecutor relied on Nandini Sampathi’s case and Advocate Reddy won the case. He says, by referring to these cases, he meant to prove that how the previous knowledge of good judgements will help a lawyer to win the cases and help his clients. He further adds, having knowledge of currents affairs, knowledge of law and judgements help a lot to the lawyers and also to the court.
Indira Gandhi vs Raj Narayan
Advocate Reddy gives another example of Indira Gandhi vs Raj Narayan.
Raj Narayan had contested against Indira Gandhi. He was expecting to win the election with huge majority but after the elections, after the counting of votes he lost the election by one lakh votes. So, he had a doubt that there was a huge malpractice in the election. He filed an election petition in Allahabad High Court; it was a very interesting sensational case. Indira Gandhi was disqualified by Justice Sinha on 12 June 1975. Indira Gandhi was held guilty under two sections; under section 123 and 78 [Act 123 is The Representation of the People Act, 1951 is an act of Parliament of India to provide for the conduct of election of the Houses of Parliament and to the House or Houses of the Legislature of each State, the qualifications and disqualifications for membership of those Houses, the corrupt practices and other offences].
Act 78 relates to the dodging of accounts. Indira Gandhi’s secretary Yashpal Kapoor held an important pool of campaigning. During the course of trial, an important issue arose. The blue book which contains the details of the travel of the Prime Minister Gandhi was summoned by the council of Sri Raj Narain. They refused claiming protection under section 123 of Indian constitution. Then the Allahabad High Court directed that 123 does not come for her protection. The matter was taken to the Honorable Supreme Court. The Supreme Court sent it back to Allahabad High Court to decide whether the interest of justice outweighs the interest of confidentiality. The book was produced before the Allahabad High Court. Everything was clear as to how much amount was spent by the principal secretary of Indira Gandhi on election campaign. On 12 June 1975 she was disqualified. On 24 or 25 June she filed a petition. In the vacation court, Chief Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer heard the matter and granted stay, but took away her powers. That meant she could not work as a member of parliament. The matter was supposed to be heard on Monday 11 August 1975. Thursday 7 August 1975 with the retrospective effect section 73 of the representation of People’s Act and Article 71 of constitution of India, Article 329 A comes in the retrospective effect. All these amendments were made by Indira Gandhi to nullify an election verdict concerning her. The amendments were approved in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and even approved by the then President of India Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. This how Indira Gandhi nullified the Allahabad High Court verdict. Advocate Reddy says the knowledge of these things is very helpful for a lawyer to be successful.