The Bar Council of India has today notified the Rules for "No Confidence" against the Office Bearers of the Bar Council of India, the Members of the Bar Council of India and the Officer Bearers of the State Bar Councils.
It said that the Rules are framed for providing for uniformity in all the State Bar Councils as regards passing of No Confidence Motion against their office bearers and for the fair, smooth and fearless functioning of Bar Councils and Bar Council of India. These guidelines are mandatory in nature and the State Bar Councils are directed to follow and if required, amend their Rules in compliance of these Rules/Resolution, the Council said.
Explaining the background, the council, in the notification issued today, said: "Due to increased groupism in the Bar Councils, on many occasions this Council has been receiving complaints and a very anomalous situation arises some times. Because of some impractical rule of some states, the situation in some of the State Bar Council leads to unwanted groupism, resulting in unhealthy atmosphere and inefficient functioning of the State Bar Councils. Only in the recent past, Bar Council of India has found that in Odisha, there was abstention from Court work by Advocates for about 2 months due to some petty issue. This was the result of group politics in State Bar Council. We have received the complaints of manhandling of Chairman of one State Bar Council and he was compelled to resign. During last elections of State Bar Councils and Bar Council of India, the reports of corrupt practices for removal of some honest members and office-bearers (who did not succumb to undue pressure of members of State Bar Councils or member of Bar Council of India), has also been noticed. There are reports of attempt to resort to blackmailing also by some Members if the Office Bearers or Members of Bar Council of India do not succumb to some selfish/greedy illegal demands of Members of State Bar Councils. Due to these reasons, in some of the State Bar Councils, the Office Bearers were changed frequently and they were compelled to resign without completing their tenure (as per the Rules of Bar Councils) only on account of unwarranted and malicious fear of "No-Confidence Motions". The Advocates of Tamil Nadu have even reported a tradition of large scale horse-trading in the elections and removal of the office-bearers/members."
As per the new Rules, the Motion of No Confidence against any office-bearer or member of Bar Council of India can be brought by a requisition submitted by 2/3rd Members of the Bar Council of India. It can only brought on the following grounds 1) some proved misconduct of the office bearers or the Member of the BCI. 2) if he is found guilty of an offence concerning Moral turpitude and is convicted and/or sentenced to undergo imprisonment for any period. 3) Or if any member has been found to be guilty of any Disciplinary Proceeding by Bar Council.
A prior Notice of at least 30 days shall be required to be given to the concerned office bearers or the Member, Bar Council of India against whom such No Confidence Motion is proposed to be moved. The Rules provide that If in the first meeting, the Bar Council of India finds a prima-facie case in favour of the motion, it shall hold an enquiry into the genuineness and bonifides. The enquiry will be conducted by a former Hon'ble Judge either of Supreme Court of India or of High Court.
The No Confidence Motion, once failed, cannot be brought against the same Office Bearer/the Member, Bar Council of India for next 12 months. This Rule shall apply to the Bar Council of India and to all the State Bar Councils. However, for bringing No-Confidence Motion against its Chairman or Vice-Chairman, any State Bar Council can frame its own Rule with the prior approval of Bar Council of India. [The full Rules can be read below]
Click here to Read/Download Rules