Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice Dipak Misra on Sunday asked law students to engage in the practice of “Cause Lawyering” and develop the idea of serviceability to the law by taking up ‘pro bono’ cases at a low income to protect human rights.
Cause lawyering is described as a practice of “lawyering for the good” or using law to empower members of the weaker layers of society.
Justice Misra was delivering the first Madhusudan Das Memorial Lecture at his alma mater at the Madhusudan Law College in Cuttack on the topic Role of Lawyers in the Dispensation of Justice Delivery System.
The function was attended among others by Chief Justice of Orissa High Court Justice K S Jhaveri.
Speaking on the personal capabilities of a lawyer, Justice Misra said it is wrong to assume that lawyers practice only to earn money. Rather, the lawyers as a class are supposed to do service to society like that of the judiciary as an institution and protect human values, he said.
“In some judgments of the Supreme Court, it has been mentioned about the serviceability of the Institution and the lawyers are to develop the idea of serviceability to the cause of law and to the cause of adjudication by believing in cause lawyering, Justice Misra said.
Quoting Shakespeare, Dr Samuel Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi and Mahadev Prasad Singh extensively in his address, the CJI told the students to believe and stand for law.
When you practice law, you must hold the brief for your client and do the best as the client should have done, he said.
Speaking on Lincoln’s concept of lawyering, he asked the students to be very articulate, passionate and to have a tremendous sense of intellectual honesty.
On the duties of lawyers, the CJI said: It is the duty of a lawyer to argue forcefully, articulately and passionately but without aggressiveness.
He also asked the students to continuously study for self-improvement.
“Unless you are continuously involved in educating yourself, there is a danger,” the CJI said adding that for this, he is still a student of law and a student of philosophy.
Earlier, paying rich tributes to legendary Madhusudan Das, the CJI particularly emphasised on “Madhu Babus” leadership quality, bravery and his belief in the pride of Odisha and his love for the motherland and mother tongue Odia.
Justice Jhaveri too in his address threw light on Madhusudan Das’ contributions to the judiciary and legal education in Odisha.