The Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Thursday assured the Madras High Court that it would not ask lawyers to abstain from courts to protest against the Law Commission recommendations on the Advocates Act.
A bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar recorded the submission of the council and disposed of a PIL against it.
The PIL was filed by Chennai-based lawyer K Muthuramalingam seeking a direction from the court to declare the Bar Council of India resolution/ communication vide BCI: D: 1762/2017/Council dated 10-4-2017, as illegal, arbitrary, without jurisdiction and opposed to law laid down in former Capt. Harish Uppal vs Union of India.
By the impugned communication, the Bar Council of India decided to organise the following protests against the Law Commission’ recommendations:
“Representatives of the state Bar Council will be made aware of the action plan of BCI through a meeting at state Bar Council headquarters on April 16. Country-wide Bar Associations will start a signature campaign demanding the rejection of recommendations of the Law Commission.
On April 21, during lunch time, lawyers all over the country will assemble outside the court premises and burn copies of recommendations of the Law Commission and Advocate (Amendment) Bill.
Thereafter, they will hand over a memorandum to the Union government through the concerned D.Ms./ Governor. The lawyers will abstain from court works after lunch time on April 22.
Protest march in Delhi from Patiala House to Raj Ghat in court dress by lawyers on May 2, in case the recommendations of Law Commission are still not rejected.
‘Jail bharo’ campaign, if the demands of rejecting the recommendations are not accepted even then”.
According to the petitioner in Harish Uppal case, the Supreme Court had declared that “call given for the lawyers to abstain from court is illegal and the lawyers have no right to go on strike or give a call for boycott, not even a token strike”.
The petitioner submitted that Bar Council of India chairman Manan Kumar Misra had chosen to defy the law and call for the boycott of court.
“The conduct of the chairman ought not to be taken as a role model. A self styled behaviour of the Chairman cannot be shown as representation of entire legal fraternity of this noble nation. Boycott call given by him at the drop of a hat has brought disrepute to the legal fraternity. It is disheartening that persons of vested interest, power mongers and persons craving for wide publicity run riot with their personal agenda of election in mind and bring disrepute to the institutions and the 4th respondent herein is not an exception,” the petition stated.
The petitioner also stated that the BCI chairman had forwarded suggestions to Law Commission on 10.03.2017. Thereafter, the Law Commission made its recommendation on 23.03.2017. However, within three days after the report was submitted by the Law Commission, the chairman chose to instigate lawyers to boycott the courts. It is very unfortunate that a person holding high office, either rightly or wrongly, should openly commit contempt of court by calling for boycott of courts and other forms of agitations that too within courts precincts, it said.
Read the petition here.