CHENNAI: The Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry has requested the Bar Council of India to reconsider its decision to suspend 15 Madurai-based advocates for protesting against the Bench. A resolution to this effect was passed in a meeting of the state bar council after day-long deliberations. As directed by BCI, the state council has decided to constitute a special committee consisting of members K Ranganathan and M. Varadhan and to nominate designated senior advocates as co-opted members to conduct disciplinary proceedings against the 15 advocates.
The state council has also decided to issue showcause notice to secretary, Madurai Bar Association, A.K. Ramasamy, calling for an explanation as to why he failed to disclose the declaration of insolvency to the bar council as contemplated in the rules. He should reply within a week from the date of notice. The council has decided to meet Madras high court Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul to request him to reconsider the order cancelling licence granted to various bar associations in the larger interest of legal community and also to ensure that there was a cordial relationship between the bench and the bar.
The council has decided to issue showcause notice to the advocates, who agitated inside the first court in Madras high court on September 14 and to take disciplinary action. The council has authorised the chairman of the state bar council to issue prohibitory order against advocates who are publishing, distributing pamphlets, handbills, banners and making unnecessary allegations against judges.
Meanwhile in Madurai, based on direction from the high court registrar, C. Raghavan, principal district judge, has ordered members of Madurai District Bar Association to remove their belongings from the premises immediately. It would be treated as “unauthorised” occupant of the district court premises. The association staged a demonstration in Madurai and in the High Court bench calling for an indefinite boycott from July 3 condemning the mandatory helmet rule.
Why this ‘anti-advocate’ move?
The BCI move to suspend some advocates practising in Madurai has evoked resentment in the legal fraternity in the state. Various Bar associations have decided to fight the issue. Speaking to DC, president, Madras high court advocates’ association, R.C. Paul Kanagaraj, said the BCI had taken an anti-advocate move. “Personally I don’t welcome this.” The advocates were not served notice and their replies were not obtained.
This was against their fundamental rights. The Supreme Court sought action against those who staged demonstration in the first court in Madras high court on September 14. However, the BCI had initiated action against 15 advocates. Someone is behind the punitive action, he said. Senior advocate N.G.R. Prasad said the BCI’s decision was against the profession. The issues must be settled amicably. Some people were giving wrong direction to the Council, he said. K. Muthuramalingam, an advocate, said the BCI was only an appellate body. It had no direct powers to suspend lawyers. “The order is unethical.” It was a clear violation of principles of natural justice.
Advocate M. Purushothaman said “It is a sad event. Once again advocates have become scapegoats in a failed system.” Velmurugan, another advocate, said “this is an attempt against the independence of lawyers fraternity”. No one has the power to prevent lawyers from staging demonstration. Advocate Krishnamurthy said the order lacked legal basis. It was absolutely arbitrary and unconstitutional....
Location: Tamil Nadu