In a letter written to CJI SA Bobde, Advocate Amit Pai has cited a recent case where the caste of a party was mentioned in the cause title to the High Court order. The instant case is the one where proceedings were adjourned for the lapse in proper attire as a lawyer had appeared in a vest during the video conference proceedings.
The letter further stated “”extremely disturbing practice” of mentioning caste of a party in the cause title as does not behove upholding the Right to Equality.”
“There was an incident of an advocate appearing by video conference before the Hon’ble Rajasthan High Court, Jaipur Bench, dressed inappropriately. While that may be disturbing, it is more disturbing to note that the cause title of the case reads ‘Lalaram S/o Shyojiram, By Caste Gurjar v. State of Rajasthan.’
In these cases the “caste or religion (of parties) was mentioned on affidavits or the memo of parties”, which Pai pointed out, was “to say the least, extremely disturbing.”
The letter highlighted the contrary nature of practice to the principle of equality.
“Right from the history of the drafting of our Constitution, to the judgments of this Hon’ble Court and the Hon’ble High Courts, and also the learning in law school, we are taught that the principle of equality is most fundamental and that caste has no place in our system of law and the Constitution.”
The lawyer has also informed the CJI that such a mention of the caste/religion of litigants, “has absolutely no place in the administration of justice by the rule of law.”
It will be “expression of the deep-rooted prejudice that still exists in society, 70 years after ‘We, the people of India’ “gave to ourselves the Constitution”.
Read the letter here: