Re v. Sri Shubham Kumar Advocate,


The Allahabad High Court recently issued a ruling stating that lawyers have the freedom to select their clients but should refrain from taking on cases involving close relatives.

The case in question was under the jurisdiction of Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh and Rajendra Kumar, who were presiding over it. The matter involved contempt proceedings initiated based on a referral from the former Additional Principal Judge of Family Court No. 1 in Aligarh, stemming from a written complaint.

In this particular case, there were two references made: one against the litigant Subhash Kumar and another against his lawyer, Shubham Kumar. It’s worth noting that there is a father-son relationship between the litigant and his advocate.

The accusation against the litigant, Subhash Kumar, pertains to his alleged misconduct in the Family Court while it was in the midst of hearing another case.

Subhash Kumar’s misconduct within the courtroom involved him loudly expressing his displeasure that his case was not being addressed. When requested to be patient and wait, he declined and persisted in his disruptive behaviour. Despite receiving warnings, he continued with his unruly actions, which ultimately led to the initiation of contempt proceedings against him.

Shubham Kumar raised his voice in a loud manner, declaring that he is a practitioner of the Allahabad High Court and asserting his knowledge of dealing with lower courts. During this incident, he is also accused of making a threat to file a complaint against the Presiding Officer of the court.

The High Court noted that court proceedings are formal and should be conducted with dignity, free from unnecessary disruptions. Any concerns or grievances that a litigant or lawyer may have can be addressed through established legal processes. If a court issues an order that a lawyer or litigant disagrees with, the appropriate recourse is to file the relevant application or appeal or to raise the matter at the appropriate time through the proper channels.

The bench expressed its view on the situation, highlighting the highly delicate and problematic nature of a son (who is a lawyer) representing his father in a matrimonial case that involves his mother. The bench emphasized that it is not the court’s role to advise lawyers on choosing their clients; this decision has always been left to the discretion of legal practitioners. Typically, legal professionals are taught early in their careers not to represent their close family members. However, this fundamental principle seems to have been disregarded by Shubham Kumar in this case. He not only took on the case of his father but also did so against his mother, effectively making himself a party to the dispute.

The High Court noted that the Presiding Officer of the court had made every effort to uphold the court’s decorum and had taken measures to address the behaviour of the two individuals facing contempt proceedings.

Considering the circumstances described above, the bench rejected the application.

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