State Bar Council Cannot Continue Disciplinary Proceedings Against Lawyers After One Year Of Complaint: SC [Read Judgment]
Failing which the State Bar Council is obliged to transfer the inquiry to the Bar Council of India, the Bench said.
The Supreme Court in Kumari Achal Saxena vs. Sudhir Yadav, has held that Disciplinary Committee of the State Bar Council cannot continue with the disciplinary inquiry against a lawyer after the expiry of one year from the receipt of the complaint and any order passed after it, is illegal.
A complaint was lodged against a lawyer with allegation of blackmailing on November 2015. The Disciplinary Committee after conducting an enquiry passed an order directing removal of Lawyer’s name from the State Roll of Advocates in December 2016, although the plea of transferring the complaint to Bar Council of India was already filed by the complainant.
The Bar Council of India, on appeal preferred by the lawyer, set aside the order and observed that State Bar Council could not have proceeded with the inquiry after lapse of one year, in view of Section 36-B of the Act.
Upholding BCI’s order, the Bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra observed : “The mandate of Section 36-B of the Act is that the Disciplinary Committee of the State Bar Council is obliged to dispose of the complaint received by it under Section 35 expeditiously and in each case, the proceedings must be concluded by it within a period of one year from the date of the receipt of the complaint or the date of initiation of the proceedings at the instance of the State Bar Council, as the case may be. Failing which the State Bar Council is obliged to transfer the inquiry to the Bar Council of India.”
Read the Judgment here.