The Bar Council of India on Sunday suspended 126 lawyers of Tamil Nadu and prohibited them from practising in any court or tribunal in the country pursuant to its warning that it will suspend those who indulge in boycott and other activities.
The BCI's action comes in the wake of an announcement by the Joint Action Committee of various bar associations to stage a sit-in at the Madras High Court in Chennai, High Court bench in Madurai and subordinate courts on July 25, protesting the recently amended rules to Advocates Act.
The JAC had said they would not allow anyone, even judges, to enter the campus.
Those suspended include P Thirumalairajan, chief coordinator of the JAC, and M Velmurugan, former member of Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, Madras High Court Advocates Association secretary Arivazhagan, Women Lawyers Association president Nalini and Egmore Bar Association president Chandan Bab, a release from BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said.
"These persons shall not be allowed to practice in any court or other forum and they shall not be treated as an advocate for any purpose. The council further resolves to initiate disciplinary proceedings against these lawyers for the aforementioned misconduct and the proceedings will be held in different places," the release said.
Mishra said the members of so called Joint Action Committee were "misleading" the entire legal fraternity in the mofussil area in Tamil Nadu and the advocates were not informed about the decisions taken by the Full Court of Madras High Court.
The Madras High Court had said no action would be taken against the advocates under the amended rules till the deliberations of the newly constituted Judges Committee for receiving suggestions from various bar associations on the matter concluded.
The release said even the Bar Council had certain views about the newly-notified disciplinary rules for lawyers, but it would like to hold discussions with the high court and its rules committee along with Bar leaders and Bar Council members.
"Strikes and boycotts are not the way to deal with the issue," Mishra said in the release.
Mishra said he and some other members of BCI would visit the city in the next few days to hold discussions with the Committee of Judges to find a solution to the problem.
"The Council resolves to suspend the following members of so-called Joint Action Committee and few other unruly members who are actively and regularly creating problems in administration of justice and in due discharge of duties of the genuine practicing lawyers," the release said.
"It is because of these lawyers that works of courts and clients are held up and paralyzed for last two months.
Therefore, this council has no other option than to put these unruly lawyers under suspension," the release said.
BCI had already warned that it would suspend all bar leaders of various associations in Tamil Nadu if they do not withdraw their protests, including boycott of courts, by July 22.
Earlier, the BCI had suspended 44 lawyers for misconduct.
The amendments to existing rules under the Advocates Act were made with a view to ensure peaceful conduct of court proceedings and suggesting disciplinary action to be taken against erring advocates.