The action against the lawyer was taken after a video clip of the said incident went viral on social media.

A gavel and a balance on a judge's table Image for representation only. image credit: Picxy.com/lakshmiprasad
news Controversy Tuesday, December 21, 2021 - 21:38

The Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry has banned a Madras High Court lawyer who got caught canoodling with a woman during an online court proceeding. The counsel, identified as Advocate Santhana Krishnan, was caught on camera while the court was in session. The video clip began to spread on social media. Soon after this, the Madras High Court bench directed the Bar Council to issue prohibitory orders against the man.

The court has also ordered a CB-CID probe into the counsel’s “indecent” actions during judicial proceedings and has demanded that a report be filed. The court has also initiated proceedings of contempt of court against the lawyer and has directed the police to check whether the viral video clip of the incident can be pulled down. 

High Court hearings are being held online amid the pandemic, and the incident took place during one such virtual court hearing. The lawyer did not realise that his camera was on, and in the middle of the hearing, was seen canoodling with a woman standing next to him. The incident reportedly caused “a great deal of consternation among the judiciary” as certain people recorded the incident and a video clip of the same spread it on social media. 

The Bar Council issued prohibitory orders against the lawyer and passed a resolution on December 21, barring him from practising in any courts in the state till the disciplinary proceedings against him have been disposed of.

The resolution says, “The Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry has passed a resolution, dated 21.12.2021 prohibiting him from practising as an advocate in all Courts, Tribunals and other authorities in India either in his name or in any assumed name till the disposal of Disciplinary proceedings pending against him for his indecent behaviour while attending the Court proceedings of the Hon'ble High Court of Madras through virtual mode.”

Speaking to TNM, Advocate C Raja Kumar, Secretary of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, said that the association currently has no information about the woman seen in the video with the lawyer, which seems to be a consensual incident. While one section said that the woman was Santhana Krishnan’s wife, another section has claimed that the woman too is a practising lawyer and questioned why no action had been taken against the woman.

“We don’t know whether she is a junior, an intern working under him or a practising lawyer registered with the Bar Council. We also don’t know whether she is just a woman staying with this lawyer. So until we have more clarity, no action can be taken against the woman,” C Raja Kumar told TNM. 

Regarding the incident, C Raja Kumar said that “During judicial proceedings, there is a certain decorum and restraint that you maintain as lawyers. This man violated all of those codes of conduct and is getting punishment,” he added.

 

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