The Bar Council of India (BCI) has decided to hold a press meet on 25 Jan at 1:30 pm to announce its decision on the steps to be taken on the "serious misconduct" of a few Advocates.
Without taking names, a letter written by BCI Chairman Mr. Manan Kumar Mishra censures Advocates who "create a scene" and bring the bar and the bench to "disrepute". It claims that the BCI has received several calls, letters and complaints about "serious misconduct, objectionable comments and deliberate nuisances created by a few Sr. Advocates/ Advocates of Delhi".
Having taken serious note of such complaints, the letter asserts that such Advocates are creating "ugly scenes" in the Courts and seeking "cheap publicity". Such behavior, it says, is casting a bad impression of the Bar throughout the world.
It states, "Of course only a strong Bar can ensure an independent Judiciary, but it does not mean that we (the members of the Bar) are free to do anything, and create ugly scenes in the Courts every day. It seems that a handful of Advocates are bent upon damaging and maligning the Institution at any cost for their vested interests. These Advocates are in habit of committing nuisance and thereby trying to lay undue pressure upon the Courts in order to get favorable orders.
Though in 99.9 % of cases they fail in achieving this goal but Bar now appears to be fed up with such activities and conduct. The entire Institution is becoming a mockery at the hands of only 3-4 such Advocates. They are trying to intervene in every such case where they find some scope to go to the media and get cheap publicity. In most of the cases they have been appearing without any locus. They set up some people...and ....manage some Vakalatnamas just in order to intervene in the matters and create ugly scenes in the Courts."
It has now sought opinions and suggestions from the members of the Bar, directing them to send these to the BCI Secretary. Calling the younger members of the Bar to help them improve their "standard", the letter finally states, "The Younger generation of the Bar is supposed to be more sensible on the issue because they are still to start or consolidate their innings. and if the pitch itself is spoilt by a few bad players ...it will not be possible for them to perform well. Therefore, their role is very important and Bar Council of India would seek their support in improving the standard of Bar."
Curiously, it was just yesterday during the hearing of Judge B.H. Loya's death case that the Chief Justice's Court saw unusual heated exchanges between leading senior lawyers-- Harish Salve and Dushyant Dave, Mukul Rohatgi and Indira Jaising. Mr. Dave had appeared for the Bombay Lawyers Association while Mr. Salve appeared for the State of Maharashtra. Mr. Rohatgi too appeared for the State of Maharashtra, supporting Mr. Salve's arguments.
Appearing before a bench comprising CJI Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Mr. Dave opposed Mr. Salve's appearing on behalf of the State, citing a conflict of interest as he had appeared for Mr. Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin case. This led to a heated exchange between the two lawyers, prompting the Bench to intervene. You may read the entire exchange here.