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'Free Kashmir' Placard : PIL In Karnataka HC For Action Against Mysuru Bar Association For Stopping Lawyers From Appearing For Student In Sedition Case

Akshita Saxena
7 Feb 2020 9:01 AM GMT
Free Kashmir Placard : PIL In Karnataka HC For Action Against Mysuru Bar Association For Stopping Lawyers From Appearing For Student In Sedition Case
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A PIL has been filed before the Karnataka High Court against the decision of the Mysore District Bar Association, precluding all its members from representing Nalini Balakumar, the student who was indicted on the charges of Sedition for holding a 'Free Kashmir' placard during the anti-CAA protests at the Mysore University campus on January 8.

The plea has been moved by Advocate Ramesh Naik. L, who had earlier appeared for Nalini during her bail hearing.

As per the plea, the Executive Committee of the Mysore District Bar Association on January 16, passed a resolution to not to file vakalath and appear on behalf Nalini, stating that she is accused as 'Anti-National'.

Naik has alleged that the Association did not stop at that and it went on to attach a copy of the resolution at multiple locations of Mysore City Court Complex and sent warning message through print/electronic media to all its Advocate members to abide by its decision, otherwise stringent action would be taken.

He has argued that a great deal Advocate members do not support this resolution and there has been a lot of verbal conflict regarding this with the Association, but in vain. He submitted that a representation against the said resolution was also made before the Karnataka State Bar Council, which has not bothered to respond till date.

Last month, around 170 advocates from across the state of Karnataka had executed Vakalatnama to represent Nalini in her bail application, as a sign of protest against the resolution.

The Petitioner has thus moved the high court, seeking to put down politicization of the Bar and seeking that appropriate directions be issued to the Respondent to not act against to the Right, Privileges and interest of the Advocates of Mysore District.

He has contended that Section 6 (d) and (dd) of the Advocate Act, 1961 imposes a duty upon the Karnataka State Bar Council, 'to safeguard the rights, privileges and interest of Advocates on its roll" and 'to promote the growth of Bar Associations for the purpose of effective implementation of the welfare scheme' respectively. Hence any inaction on its part in this regard, amounts to violation of the aforesaid provisions of the Advocates Act, 1961.

"Legal profession is the noblest and dignified. It commands great honour. The practice of Advocacy has the public utility flavor. An Advocate is to do his part individually and as a member of the organized Bar to improve his profession, the Court and the law. In a free society Advocate has a responsibility that of acting as an intelligent, unselfish leader of public opinion," the Petitioner has stressed.

He also argued before the court that the Right to Practice is a Fundamental right guaranteed under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India. Thus, the decision of the Mysore District Bar Association or anyone for that matter, to restrict any of its Advocate members not to file vakalath on behalf of any accused person without sufficient cause, offends Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India.

"An Advocate is to do his part individually and as a member of the organized Bar to improve his profession, the Court and the law. In a free society Advocate has a responsibility that of acting as an intelligent, unselfish leader of public opinion," the plea states.

On January 27, a Mysuru court granted anticipatory bail to student, while holding that the Freedom of Speech is necessary for the success of Democracy.

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