news Sunday, July 26, 2015 - 05:30
Speaking at Lawyers Meet-2015, an event organized by the Bar Council of India, its chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said that 30% of the lawyers in the country hold fake degrees. Mishra was speaking at the event in Chennai on Saturday, and a report in The Times of India mentions him saying that the BCI was in the process of weeding out such lawyers. Mishra said that in BCI’s estimation, 20% of lawyers in the country were practicing in courts with fraudulent degrees, and cited former Delhi Law Minister Jitendra Tomar as an example. “We will filter bad and non-practising lawyers and remove them from the rolls,” he reportedly said, adding that such lawyers were responsible for the strikes and boycotts in various courts surrounding petty issues. In an interview in January 2013, Mishra mentioned that the number of practicing lawyers in the country was close to 1.7 million. An RTI query in 2011 had pegged the number of advocates at 1.3 million and mentioned a growth rate of 4% in the numbers between 2007 and 2011. At that rate, the number would be closer to 1.5 million by now and the number of fraudulent lawyers in the country would stand at 4.5 lakhs. Mishra, a two-time BCI chairman says that the council has begun its first certificate verification exercise, to cross-check all applicants to the BCI. “Our verification rules are being implemented in all states, except Karnataka and Kerala, where it is held up because the high courts have passed interim orders,” he said. In his speech, he added that the BCI was looking to establish 1000 National Law Colleges, where the standard of education would be better. “By the year-end, we will establish them in all parts of the country,” he added. Following the dismissal of AAP’s former law minister Jitendra Tomar for a fake degree, the BCI reportedly began scrutinizing the educational qualifications of candidates to avoid a repeat of the cases of “fake lawyers”. TNM has reported on the cases of lawlessness in the court of Egmore in Tamil Nadu, where a lawyer had been killed by members of his own professional community.