Breaking; UOI to consider to entrust the Functions of Bar Council to a body headed by Rtd.SC Judge; Madras HC issues Guidelines to clean the Legal Profession [Read Judgment]

1 madras hc-minMadras High Court today issued Guidelines to prevent intrusion of person having criminal antecedents without legally studying bachelor of Law Degree for maintaining the purity in the justice delivery system.

“Neither Legal Profession is an asylum for criminals  Nor law Degrees are shields for their criminal activities ”.  Legal profession is blighted by the entry of criminal elements. It is seen from a number of cases coming up before this court and also from media reports that persons with criminal background getting law degrees claiming to be advocates are indulging in criminal activities including conducting “Kangaroo Courts”, degrading and damaging the image of noble profession and for which we have to hang our heads down in shame”, said the Court.

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The High Court issued the following Directions;

1) Union of India is to consider revisiting of provisions of the Advocates Act including Section 24A of the Advocates’ Act, or introduce a new Section prohibiting persons with pending cases or criminals entering into legal profession at the earliest considering continuing entry of criminals, communal and extremist elements at the earliest.

2) Bar Council of India shall direct the State Bar Councils to get antecedents verification of all law graduates compulsorily, from their native place as well as from the place of study, from the police for enrolment.

3) Bar Council of India shall direct the State Bar Councils not to enrol any law graduate with pending criminal cases except bailable cases attracting punishment upto three years and compoundable offences involving matrimonial, family and civil disputes, till the changes are brought in The Advocates’ Act & Bar Council of India Rules.

4) Bar Council of India shall direct State Bar Councils

a) To grant only conditional/provisional enrolment to law graduates, who are having criminal cases involving bailable offences attracting punishment upto 3 years and compoundable offences including matrimonial, family and civil disputes and to open a separate file/register for this specific purpose which shall contain the number of the case, offences involved, name of the police station, and the Court, who shall communicate to the respective State Bar Council about the disposal of the case enclosing a certified copy of the judgement;

(b) To revoke provisional enrolment of the law graduates on conviction after issuing show notice unless the setting aside of conviction is informed to the Bar Council with a certified copy of the judgement.

(c) Bar Council of India shall direct all law institutions not to admit candidates with criminal cases except minor offences viz., offences attracting punishment upto 3 years and compoundable offences including matrimonial, family and civil disputes and on acquittal.

5) Bar Council of India shall direct the State Bar Councils not to enrol any law graduate, who had already suffered conviction in any criminal case.

6) Bar Council of India shall direct the State Bar Councils not to enrol any person, who have been dismissed or removed from service or left the services consequent to departmental/inhouse proceedings.

7) Bar Council of India shall direct all law colleges to get police verification certificates compulsorily before admitting the candidates to the law degree course.

8) Union of India shall direct all the States to send police antecedent verification certificate within three weeks from the date of receipt of the request made by respective State Bar Councils.

9) Union of India is directed to implement the recommendation of the Hon’ble Supreme court with regard to introduction of pre-enrolment training (Apprenticeship) to law graduates as per para 31 of the decision in V.Sudeer Vs.Bar Council of India reported in 1999 (3) SCC 176, as the recommendation has not been considered even after 16 years of the judgement.

10) Union of India is to consider positively, within six months, to entrust  the functions of the Bar Council of India to an expert body, headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge permanently or till The Advocates’ Act and the Bar Council Rules are revisited, nominating Academicians, Legal Luminaries, prominent social workers,  retired I.A.S Officers , police officers and Doctors as members as the electoral system followed by Bar Council failed to elect appropriate persons as members of Bar Council resulting in making the Council incapable of handling issues properly.

11) Bar Council of India shall not conduct the next Bar Council election,  after expiry of the present term in 2016, without prescribing minimum qualification like 20 years standing in the Bar or a Senior counsel,  who does not have any criminal case or criminal background for the candidates to contest Bar Council elections and till the verification of advocates is done as per “Bar Council of India Certificate and Place of practice (Verification) Rules 2015, by  entrusting  the functions to an expert body.

12) Bar Council of India shall reduce the number of seats in law colleges drastically and the number of law colleges, as the population of advocates is  increasing enormously year after year.

13) Bar Council of India is to abolish three year Law Degree Course at the earliest and retain only five year Law Degree Course on par with other Professional Courses like Medicine and Engineering, to make the course as a serious one and;

14) Bar Council of India shall direct the State Bar Councils to withdraw the recognition/approval given to various Bar/Advocates Associations for the past 20 years maintaining one Court-one Bar Association except older associations.

Concluding the Judgment it is held that “ Criminalisation of Bar has already started and is spreading like a wild fire sullying, degrading and destroying the image and prestige of the noble profession. As a member of the legal fraternity and the higher judiciary, for the past 30 years, this Court has been witnessing steep fall in the standards, steady invasion of the profession by criminal, communal and extremist elements, by purchasing law degrees without any basic qualifications and without attendance from Letter Pad Law Colleges and their attempt to disturb normal Court proceedings by boycotts, exhibition of unruly high handed behaviour inside and outside Court and committing offences and covering up by advocate’s label as explained in detail.  It is very unfortunate that the so-called Bar leaders and many of the Bar Council members are said to be associated with these elements.  If this menace is not prevented and curtailed, the day is not too far when Courts will be conducted as per the wishes of criminal elements and communal leaders ending the rule of law. One needs to take a look at the grim and serious state of the legal profession practically. As a member of the legal profession, this Court  hopes that the issue of criminalisation of the profession is seriously taken note of by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the Central Government and appropriate action be taken to redeem the profession from the clutches of persons with criminal background, communal elements with muscle power, persons with extremist ideology otherwise “NEETHI DEVATHAI”  (Goddess of Justice)  will not forgive all the stake holders of justice delivery system”.

The High Court kept the Petition alive for further orders on 28.10.2015.

Read the Judgment here.

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  • Paras Kukkar says:

    I agree with madras hc that abolish 3 yr law bt bar council has also described that only persons who are not indulging can take part so it ture that crime increasing with vast power so we should have to take such kind of restrictions either it can be abolished
    Bribery made them ,the settlement outside courts

  • Susheel says:

    Criminals are not born, they are made by the society. A person may be accused or convicted for a wrongful reason also. The law is blind and it only takes the note of the evidences. And evidences can be altered, mutilated or even canvassed circumstantially to bring upon a judgement. The judgement made by Justice Kirubakaran is against the rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India. By taking up the antecedents of the students getting admitted in the Law Colleges and barring them the admission on the ground that they are accused or convicted of any offence whether it is grave or minor is against the Right to Education guaranteed under Article 21 A of the Constitution. Similarly debarring a person from taking upon the profession he wishes to profess is against the rights guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (g) .

    Judiciary is called as the guardian of the constitution and if it starts on making such judgements……

  • P.S.Subba Raman, Advocate, Tuticorin says:

    The Judgement regarding restriction of law graduates coming from different faculties is totally wrong. Law will get enriched only if different persons from different fields enter the profession.

  • Barun says:

    In relation to above There must include some provisions about enrollment of Law Graduates who are in Govt. Service.

  • Dr.P.R.L.Rajavenkatesan,Assistant Professor(Senior),VIT LAW SCHOOL,CHENNAI says:

    I am writing this with utmost sincerity that Hon’ble High Court of Madras has taken some steps by way of passing the reformative order like standard of improving legal education in India in general and Tamil Nadu in particular but i hereby disagree with abolition of three year law course as it is the soul of legal system.Moreover, because of unruly activities of few lawyers, it is not fair to punish the rest of them. In addition to this, directing law institutions to verify antecedent of the candidates who seeks an admission is not practically possible and if its so can we agree that in all other branches such as medicine and engineering there is no space for intrusion of criminals. Instead of criticizing lawyers and legal education as whole it will be better to plug some loopholes in legal field and add some useful mechanisam for the strengthening same and for the larger interest of the society.

  • P.S.Subba Raman, Advocate, Tuticorin says:

    Much water has flown down the bridge.

  • SUJAD SYED says:

    Good guidelines, but, what abt judicial bias & corruption?

  • Puneet says:

    Today this is the most required measure to be taken . It will improve justice deliver system and upheld the rule of law

  • H.N. Joshi says:

    Honorable High Court is taken care in appropriate direction.