Crisis of Leadership in The Bar

By: Parmanand Pandey

Apart from being a festive season, it is also a season of elections in different Bar Associations of Delhi. The elections of Tis Hazari Bar Association, which is known as Delhi Bar Association will be held in the last week of October and that will be preceded by a week for the elections of Delhi High Court Bar Association. Immediately after DBA’s elections Rohini Bar Association’s elections are to be held. In the first week of December elections for Delhi Bar Council will take place for which the campaigning has reached feverish pitch.

Elections are like oxygen for any democratic organisation. They make an organisation lively, the flurry activities of the sitting office bearers and other contestants become conspicuous. For months together members are flooded with phone calls SMS’s and emails. Thanks to the technological revolution in the field of communication, letters have almost been done away with. SMS and sending of Emails have been outsourced. It is a completely disembodied affair. Many times senders do not know what message has been sent by them and to whom. Even person to person contact has been considerably reduced. It has albeit been replaced by the lavish dinner parties. There are many advocates who are enjoying this gala affair by attending these parties without any qualms for loyalty or support they extend to the candidates. During the day time, they will remain with one candidate but in the evening they will run for another candidate, depending on who is going to offer them good liquor and delicious food.

The tempo of elections reached the crescendo in the last week of pooling. Ultimately, the winner will not be a good candidate but who has the capacity to splurge. Exceptions are always there but there number is few and far between. But how such big resources are managed? Who is behind the funding? And if a candidate spends from his/her own pocket, what does he/she ultimately achieve by the elections? This is an enigma shrouded in the mystery.

Some say that winners make it a platform to develop intimacy with judges and convert it into the mutual benefits. Some say, it is used as leverage for climbing the political ambitions. Barring a few it is seen most of the candidates have hardly anything to do with the profession. They are found to be doing something like property dealing, running NGO’s other businesses, totally unrelated to the profession. The tag of ‘Advocate’ is used a shield to have some respectability in the society.

That is why; they (such advocates) have converted this profession into business. How to improve the skill of lawyering or how some facilities could be arranged to newcomers in the profession to hone their capacity or what are the new trends/winds blowing in the profession- theses things have no consideration in the elections of the Bars. How to protect the dignity of profession and further improve its prestige in the society do not carry any weight. They (candidates) are unconcerned about the tantrums of the judges. Code of conduct is ridiculed and derided day in and day out, the esteem of the profession is sliding in the society and its sheen or the lustre is fading -but they have no concern. The lofty profession, which once it was, is now being led by those who have no stakes. The irony is that law courses and curricula are being set or decided by those whose knowledge in the subject is next to nil.

Nobody can hope for any improvement unless serious, conscientious, ethically conscious and learned professionals come forward to take the lead.