CJI SA Bobde
CJI SA Bobde

Mentioning Caste/Religion of Party in causetitle shows deep-rooted Prejudice: Letter to CJI after Rajasthan HC order states litigant's Caste

While adjourning proceedings after a lawyer appeared in 'baniyan' (inner vest) for the video conference hearing, the Rajasthan High Court's adjournment order also mentioned the caste of the party in the cause title.

Debayan Roy

An Advocate on Record has written a letter to the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde asserting that the "extremely disturbing practice" of mentioning caste of a party in the cause title as does not behove upholding the Right to Equality.

In his letter to the CJI, Advocate Amit Pai has cited the recent case of a lawyer appearing in a vest during the video conference proceedings. While adjourning the proceedings for the lapse in proper attire, Pai points out that the caste of the party in that case was mentioned in the cause title to the High Court order.

"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.'"

reads the letter.

Advocate Pai has further stated that he has practiced in the High Court of Rajasthan and that during his brief stint he dealt with petitions which sought leave to appeal from a few High Courts.

In these cases the "caste or religion (of parties) was mentioned on affidavits or the memo of parties", which Pai points out, was "to say the least, extremely disturbing."

In his letter, the lawyer further comments on how such a practice runs contrary 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."

reads the letter.

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."

The letter says that such a practice of mentioning caste/religion was an "expression of the deep-rooted prejudice that still exists in society, 70 years after 'We, the people of India' “gave to ourselves the Constitution”.

Letter to Hon'ble the CJI dated 25.03.2020.pdf
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