The life of a judge is very isolated, it can play havoc in their life, and everybody is scared of alleged corruption charges. They keep to themselves, in today's times and this has certainly affected the relation between the bench and the bar. Mostly successful lawyers don't become judges because it is a financial loss for them in the present and future.
Bombay high court has produced legal luminaries like Soli Sorabji, Fali Nariman, Justice MC Chagla and the present Chief Justice of India, Sarosh Kapadia, who practiced in the high court for a long time before being appointed as a judge.
It was Justice PN Bhagwati who started the system of filing Public Interest Litigations, persons approaching courts for good cause or for the good of the common man was encouraged. But over the years courts realised that most of the PIL were being filed for settling personal scores. Thus the practice of imposing heavy cost is prevalent now days on petitioners when found to have filed petitions with personal vendetta.
It was my principle that I won't accept rape cases. The reason behind it is the trauma the victim would go through when I cross examine her after the trauma she has already suffered. I told my clients I will not accept the cases. Unfortunately the present generation is more materialistic than we were. It is conceived that advocates whose name appears regularly in papers is a good advocate. I dream that in the 150th year, a strong judiciary based on values is for common good is realised.
Adhik Shirodkar, 80, is a former Rajya Sabha Member and an advocate who practiced in the Bombay High Court for 54 years.
(As told to Mustafa Plumber)