Madras HC lawyers stage protest, burn copies of amended Rules

Madras HC lawyers stage protest, burn copies of amended Rules

A group of around 35 lawyers of Madurai Bench High Court Advocates Association (MBHAA) and Madurai Bar Association (MBA) on Friday burnt copies of the amended rules at the Integrated Court Complex.

The new sets of disciplinary rules for the Advocates enable the Court to debar lawyers who indulge in objectionable behavior. In a notification published on 20th May 2016, new Rules 14A, 14B, 14C and 14D have been added to the existing Rules under Advocates Act.

Leading the protest, Advocates A. John Vincent, C. Ezhilarasu and T. Vilavan Kothai stated that the “rules were draconian” in nature since terms such as ‘browbeat’ were susceptible to varied interpretations and curtail the right of lawyers to practice the profession freely.

The protest was staged despite presence of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel on campus. CISF had begun the trial run of the security arrangements in the court buildings, before taking over the security of the main building housing the administrative block and court halls from Monday.

The Madras High Court Advocates Association had earlier, in a unanimous resolution, expressed its “deep” concerns about the newly introduced amendments. The Association, in its resolution had said that these amendments “constitute a serious threat to the independence of the legal profession and will prevent advocates from discharging their duties without the constant fear that any emphatic and assertive argument will result in a judge terming it as “browbeating” leading to their debarment.”

The Chief Justice of Madras High Court had then assured BCTP that no action would be taken against advocates in furtherance of the Advocates Act, till a decision is taken on the recommendations put forth by the Bar Associations. You may read the LiveLaw article here.