BCI decides to keep amendments to its Rules in abeyance; constitutes committee to review the Rules

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The Bar Council of India (BCI) on Wednesday constituted a committee to review its recently amended rules relating to the conduct of Advocates.
The BCI said that the committee is constituted to address concerns expressed by some members of the Bar.

The Bar Council of India has decided to review the said rules relating to misconduct.
In a press statement, the BCI stated, “The Committee shall consist of some senior Advocates, representatives of State Bar Councils and High Court and other Bar Associations, besides five Members of Bar Council of India.”

The review committee will take into consideration the representations received from some of the associations and it will frame the rules after noticing the issues raised by all concerned.
“…Till the report of the Review Committee is received, considered and acted upon by the Council, the operation/implementation of the amended rules published in Gazette Notification dated 26.06.2021 in Extraordinary Part-III-Section-4 with respect to Amendment in Part-VI, Chapter-II of Bar Council of India Rules relating to the conduct of Advocates shall be kept in abeyance…,” stated BCI’s press statement

Accordingly, the council has resolved to constitute a committee to review the Rules. The chairman has been authorised to constitute the Committee. The committee shall consist of some senior advocates, representatives of State Bar Councils and High Court and other Bar Associations, besides five members of the Bar Council of India.

The committee shall be requested to submit its report within 3 weeks. Thereafter, the council will proceed to act in accordance with the provisions of the Advocates Act, 1961.
The BCI stated that the objective of such a rule was/is to improve the standard of the profession and to weed out black sheep. The Supreme Court on several occasions has directed the Bar Council of India to take steps for weeding out undeserving elements from the Bar.

“Therefore, the Bar Council of India was/is under an obligation to frame rules for strengthening the profession. The legal profession is a highly noble profession, considering the nature of the duties of advocates and their impact on society. Advocates command respect and a prestigious position in society for this very reason,” the statement said.

Bar Council of India said it is fully conscious of the fact that an advocate is supposed to protect the rights of the people and ensure that unhindered justice is delivered to the needy.

The Bar Council of India had recently amended rules relating to misconduct in Part-VI, Chapter-II of Bar Council of India Rules and added Section-V: Duties towards Society and Bar and Section VA: Code of conduct and Disqualification for members of Bar Councils and had published the same in Gazette Notification in Extraordinary Part-III-Section-4 on 26.06.2021.

The Bar Council of India (BCI) has on June 26 amended its rules making ‘derogatory’, ‘defamatory’ criticism of judges, courts or Bar Council by practising advocates in media ground for disqualification or suspension.

In a notification, the BCI said that practising advocates “shall not make any statement in the print, electronic or social media, which is indecent or derogatory, defamatory or motivated, malicious or mischievous against any court or judge or any member of judiciary or against State Bar Council or Bar Council of India, nor shall any advocate engage in any willful violation, disregard or defiance of any resolution or order of the State Bar Council or Bar Council of India and any such act/conduct shall amount to misconduct and result in suspension or removal of membership of such member from the Bar Council.”

“An advocate shall conduct himself/herself as a gentleman gentle lady in his/her day to day life and he/she shall not do any unlawful act,” it added.

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