5970 Advocates on the Rolls of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, cannot practice in any Court or Tribunal, until they clear Advocate Welfare Fund subscription dues.
Advocate Welfare Committee of Bar Council of India took this decision to suspend their practice in a meeting held last Thursday. The notification in this regard reads as follows:
"It is hereby informed that the Advocates Welfare (BCI) Committee has suspended the right of practice of 5,970 advocates in any court, tribunal or other authority till the payment of subscription under Rule 40, Part VI Chapter II of the Bar Council of India Rules vide Resolution No 242/2019 dated March 22."
On 30th January, the State Bar Council had cautioned Bar Associations regarding this non-payment of Welfare fund subscription.
Rule 40 of Chapter 2, Part VI of Bar Council of India Rules mandates every Advocate borne on the rolls of the State Bar Council to pay to the State Bar Council a prescribed sum every year towards the fund. Rule 42 empowers a Committee of three members constituted by the State Bar Council to pass an order suspending the right of the advocate to practise, if the advocate does not pay the amount or fails to show sufficient cause. Suspension ceases to operate when the said Advocate pays the subscription due along with late fee.
Advocates' Welfare Fund Act was enacted in 2001 for the constitution of a welfare fund for the benefit of advocates. The Act made it mandatory for every advocate practising, before the commencement of Act, to apply, within six months of the commencement of the Act, to the Trustee Committee for admission as a member of the Fund. An Advocate has to made such an application within six months of his enrolment.