Lawyers from more than 135 Bar Associations in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have participated in a rally organised by Madras High Court Advocates’ Association in Chennai, demanding the withdrawal of new Amendments introduced by Madras High Court in the Disciplinary Rules under Advocates Act.
Last Week the Madras High Court Advocates Association, in a unanimous resolution, has expressed its “deep” concerns about the newly introduced amendments to rules framed under S.34 (1) of the Advocates Act, by the High Court.
Madras High Court, had introduced new sets of disciplinary rules for the Advocates through an amendment, enabling it to debar lawyers who indulge in objectionable behaviour. In a notification published on 20th May 2016, new Rules 14A, 14B, 14C and 14D has been added to the existing Rules under Advocates Act. The Association, in its resolution 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 resolution further reads as follows “These amendments rob the advocates of their self-respect and dignity in the discharge of their function as professionals. Such threat the independence of the legal profession, it invariably also result in being a threat to the very independence of the judiciary as the bench and the bar are two sides of the same coin. The relationship between the bench and the bar should be based on mutual trust and respect and not on fear and suspicion. It is in the interest of the judicial institution that all differences /issues between the bench and the bar should be ironed out through mutual dialogue and not on arbitrary, coercive and one – sided action.