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'We are neither SCOTUS nor magistrate': CJI Bobde objects to being addressed as 'Your Honour'

02:21 PM Feb 23, 2021 | FPJ Web Desk

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India SA Bobdeon Monday took objection to being addressed as "Your Honour", reminding a petitioner-in-person that the term is used for either the judges of the United States Supreme Court or Magistrate.

"When you call us Your Honour, you either have the Supreme Court of United States or the Magistrate in mind. We are neither', CJI SA Bobde told a law student, who was appearing as a party-in-person, Bar and Bench reported.

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The petitioner apologised and said that he will use "My Lords".

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"Whatever. We are not particular what you call us. But don't use incorrect terms", the CJI replied.

According to the report, the petition was related to the filling up of the vacancies in the subordinate judiciary.

Also Read: Your Honour or Your Lordship? CJI slams lawyer for using the former; asks if he is addressing a US Supreme Court

This is not the first instance of CJI Bobde taking objection to the term. In August last year, he schooled a lawyer for addressing him as “Your Honour”.

“Are you appearing before the US Supreme Court? The use of ‘your honour’ is in US and not in Indian Supreme Court," Bobde asked the lawyer, who went on to argue that there is no law that requires advocates to use a particular honorific to address the judges.

“It may not be in the law but it is about practice of the court. We don't use ‘your honour’. Please use the terms that are used in practice in India," CJI Bobde responded.

Over the years there have been a number of petitions filed in high courts and the Supreme Court, debating over the ways to address the judges, seeking a review on the colonial practice.

Interestingly, in 2014, Justice Bobde was part of the Supreme Court bench with Justice HL Dattu when then directed that it was not compulsory to call them “my lord”, “your lordship” or “your honour”.

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