Madhya Pradesh Bar Council has requested Chief Justice of India N V Ramana to frame a code of conduct for the district court judges in the state amid complaints by lawyers that some of them remain glued to mobile phones even during trials and also do not follow the time-table.

The State Bar Council of Madhya Pradesh (SBCMP) has written a letter to the CJI, its Chairman Shailendra Verma confirmed.

The SBCMP is a statutory body, which issues licenses for legal practice and is empowered to take disciplinary action against advocates for misconduct.

Verma said, "The SBCMP has written a letter to CJI N V Ramana seeking a code of conduct for the district courts in the state."

"The reason for writing this letter to the CJI three days ago is that the lawyers practicing in the district courts are deeply aggrieved over the way the lower courts are functioning. The SBCMP has received letters from many bar associations across the state complaining about the behavioral attitudes and punctuality of some judicial officers during court hours," he said.

There should be restrictions on the usage of mobile phones, surfing on social media by some judicial officers during court proceedings and while sitting on board in the courtroom, he said.

The letter said, "There should be strict restrictions on the use of mobile, internet, and social media platforms, like WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, etc, while conducting court proceedings and sitting on board in court hours."

"This is because especially in interior districts, all the judicial officers are in the habit of keeping their personal mobile phone with them even during the court hours, which is used excessively during the hearing of cases," the letter said.

There should be strict guidelines to follow the time-table in the district courts as some judicial officers in the courts located in remote areas do not follow it, it said.

The letter added that some judicial officers hold courts as per their convenience by starting late and rising late at times up to 6.30 pm or 7 pm, subjecting lawyers and litigants to a lot of inconvenience.

"It is regularly observed that because of excessive work pressure, the judicial officers are conducting proceedings of 2-3 cases at the same time," it said.

Verma said the Council has also appealed to the lawyers practicing in the district courts to stick to ethics and if they find any judicial officer misbehaving, they should videograph it and send the video to the council, which will then take up the matter with the High Court administration.

The Council has sent a copy of the letter to the Madhya Pradesh High Court's Chief Justice and Judges as well as the Supreme Court judges.

With PTI Inputs