Tamil Nadu and Puducherry bar council recently discovered that one of their senior members has been serving the Tamil Nadu Judicial Service as a magistrate for 21 long years without the necessary degree.
How it went unnoticed?
P Natarajan, the ‘magistrate’ from Ulunageri in Madurai declared that he completed his Bachelor of General Law (BGL) course in correspondence mode at Sarada Law college in Karnataka which is affiliated with Mysore University.
After the completion of the course, Natarajan joined the judicial service. He claims that the university did not inform him at the time of gathering that his degree was only valid for academic purposes and not for employment. During his study period 1975-78, he is known to attend classes just in the third year.
On February 15, 1982, he was selected as a judicial magistrate and served in his post for nearly 22 years. He retired on June 30, 2003, and within a month enrolled himself as a lawyer with the bar council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
The Supreme Court has ordered a verification of Bar Council of India and place of practice certificates. It is for this initiative the Bar Council found out his case and ordered to show cause on January 4, 2016.
According to a Kractivism report, Natarajan said: “It is not fair and justified to cancel enrollment as an advocate of a person who was in judicial service for more than 25 years, including 21 years as the judicial magistrate.”
The BCI verification process was an attempt to weed out the fake lawyers that were still at large. In Lawyers’ meet in Chennai 2015, BCI chairman said that 30% of the lawyers did not have a valid degree to practice. Complaints poured in about unethical legal practices, and BCI is en route to streamline the Judicial Service practitioner’s qualification criteria.
The Logical Indian Take
The judicial system is one of the most important pillars of democracy. They are the ones who are supposed to judge people and find out flaws in the system. Such a discrepancy to prevail within their own system, and also for that to go unnoticed for 25 years is a shocking revelation.