In the offing is a Disciplinary Body that will have Government nominees and those from outside the Bar Council of India
Self-regulated legal sector in India is in for a major revamp.
Law Commission, which was tasked by Supreme Court in July to suggest amendments to Advocates Act that governs legal practice in India, wants outsiders to rein in the indisciplined lawyers.
In its report to Law Ministry recommending amendments to Indian Advocates Act, 1961, which will be submitted next week, panel will suggest forming a disciplinary body that has government nominees and those from outside Bar Council of India (BCI) that is elected by lawyers, according to the Commission .
Right now, the Disciplinary matters are dealt with by BCI and State Bar Councils under the law.
According to BCI’s own estimates, as many as 40% advocates practising in the Indian courts do not have the requisite professional qualifications. There have been instances of lawyers resorting to the strikes or even violence in the past.
Supreme Court’s reference itself came while listening to a case pertaining to contempt of court by Advocate Mahipal Singh Rana. There have also been instances of lawyers’ associations or bar giving a call for withdrawing from the cases.
BCI had told Commission in a report last week that Council would co-opt Senior Advocates with 35 years of experience to become a part of Disciplinary Committee.
While referring matter to the law panel last year, three-judge bench of SC had observed: “There appears to be an urgent need to review provisions of Advocates Act dealing with the regulatory mechanism for the legal profession and other incidental issues, in consultation with all concerned.”
With inputs from HT