The Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Wednesday said the Chief Justice of Madras High Court has assured it that no action would be taken against advocates following amendments to the Advocates Act, till a decision is taken on suggestions made by various bar associations.
"The Chief Justice of Madras High Court has assured the office bearers of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry that no action will be taken against the advocates in pursuant to the amendments introduced by the High Court to Advocates Act, till a decision is taken on the suggestions from bar associations," BCTP Chairman D Selvam told reporters.
The office-bearers had met Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul yesterday and submitted a memorandum seeking reconsideration of the amendments to the Advocates Act.
According to a release from BCTP, the High Court has invited suggestions from all the bar associations on the changes to be made to the Advocates Act.They may be submitted through BCTP which will be placed before the High Court rule Committee for its reconsideration, it said.
The release said the Chairman of Bar Council of India has also requested the Chief Justice to reconsider the amendments made to the rules through discussions and also advised all the bar associations to resolve the issues by way of dialogue and not by resorting to rallies and boycott.
The bar associations have been requested to furnish their suggestions to BCTP by June 17.
The matter relates to recent amendments that were introduced by the High Court to Section 34(1)of Advocates Act against which various advocates associations took out a rally on June 6.
In a notification, the high court had said that the court has power under 14-A of Advocates Act to debar advocates who indulge in activities such as trying to influence a judge or participates in a procession inside court campus or holds placards inside the court hall, among others.
Such advocates shall be debarred from appearing before the high court or subordinate courts permanently or for such period as the court may think fit and the Registrar General shall thereupon report it to the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu, it said.
Taking a serious view of the June 6 rally taken out by Advocates Associations of Madras High Court in Chennai in protest against amendments to existing rules under the Advocates Act, Bar Council of India on Wednesday instructed the State Bar Council to initiate action against those responsible.
Blaming the Bar leaders for not putting forth their views at meetings held in connection with the framing of rules, BCI chairman Mannan Kumar Mishra, however, said he was also opposed to certain rules framed by High Court.
If the advocates had any grievances, they could have written to the Bar Council, he said.
Stating that the bar leaders may have to sit together to resolve the issues, Mishra said he is worried about the situation in Tamil Nadu, where "despite repeated suspensions, the lawyers are still resorting to the old ways."
Referring to boycott of courts by lawyers in some districts against the new set of rules, he said he had instructed the State Bar Council to initiate tough action against the perpetrators of indiscipline in the bar.
While stating again that BCI was also opposed to certain rules, Mishra who spoke over phone from Delhi, said "You cannot punish without a show cause notice or an opportunity of being heard."
All these matters can be resolved by sitting together, he said, adding that Madras High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul had already clarified that if lawyers submitted their suggestions, he would forward them to the rules committee for consideration.
The advocates associations had yesterday requested the CJ to interfere and withdraw the amendments. They protested the new set of disciplinary rules framed by the Court as per the Supreme Court verdict in the R K Anand case of 2009.
They alleged that there had been no transparent and fair consultation with the Bar across the state before framing such rules and demanded that the amended rules be withdrawn unconditionally as it put their profession in peril.
In a resolution, it had requested the Chief Justice to call for a dialogue between Bar and Bench and evolve mechanisms to identify key issues hampering effective functioning of the Judicial Institution and prepare both short and long-term plans and program to amicably settle all the issues.
On May 25, the High Court had issued a notification making amendments to existing rules under the Act with a view to ensure peaceful conduct of court proceedings and suggesting disciplinary action against erring advocates.