The Bar Council of India (BCI) has vowed to lead a massive law and order breakdown if the law ministry does not reject the latest recommendations of the Law Commission (LC), it decided this weekend in a meeting, at which it also demanded the immediate removal of former Supreme Court justice BS Chauhan as the LC’s chairman.
The BCI has threatened a public burning of the law commission reports, at least two more days of countrywide lawyer strikes, and eventually a massive law and order breakdown by lawyers, to protest the LC recommendations it has been agitating against since 31 March.
Lawyers will be breaking the law and surrendering to be jailed for it, post 2 May, if the LC recommendations do not stand rejected by that date, decided the BCI this weekend, according to a Facebook post by BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra.
According to Mishra’s post, in which he dubs the LC’s recommendations as “anti lawyer recommendations”.
BS Chauhan has to immediately be sacked as LC chairman, which should be filled by a senior or renowned advocate, the BCI demanded, in addition to:
- No entry to former judges in bar council committees
- Insurance, medi-claim and pension to lawyers and their families and stipend to young lawyers
- No separate status to the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) at par with state bar councils
If the demands against the anti lawyer recommendations is not accepted even till 2nd May ,then massive rallies n jail Bharo campaign will b undertaken by BCI ,State Bar Councils n Bar Associations of the country’s Delhi n throughout the country.
But even before the “jail bharo” campaign, lawyers across India, on 21 April during courts’ lunch break, will supposedly burn copies of the LC’s 266th report which contains the “anti lawyer recommendations”. This will be followed by, first a 22 April post-lunch abstention from courts, and then a 2 May rally of all members of the BCI and the state bar councils and representatives of various bar associations, who will march from the Patiala House court in Delhi to Rajghat.
All this if a signature campaign by lawyers across the country does not result in the recommendations being scrapped. The recommendations curtail the powers of the BCI, impose a ban on lawyer strikes and suggest other changes to the Advocates Act 1961 which the BCI is against.
State bar councils will gather bar association representatives in their offices on 16 April to make them aware of this long-winded agitation schedule, Mishra added in his post which was shared 39 times, had 57 comments mostly in Mishra’s favour, and 241 Likes at the time of going to press.
Mishra did not offer any specific evidence for some of the allegations in his post, such as the one that the LC has spread a “totally false and misleading rumour” that its recommendations were based on the BCI’s, or that the LC had committed “misdeeds”.
We had written a fact check of some of Mishra’s earlier allegations, based on the evidence publicly available to date.
Anti-Mishra factions, ‘certain powerful people’ maligning image of BCI
The BCI has tried to appease support in Delhi by giving “proper weight age to the Coordination Committee of the Bar Associations of Delhi” and resolving “to recognise former members of Delhi bar council as members of ad hoc committee”.
But it has asked the Orissa Bar Council and bar associations in Orissa, which oppose the BCI’s agitation, to cancel their 22 April meeting and to follow the BCI’s decisions.
Finally, the BCI plans to complain to the prime minister and other ministers that “certain powerful people” are threatening the BCI and its members to “take certain steps and hatch conspiracy to malign the image of BCI or SBCs in order to justify the anti lawyer bill”.
Mishra’s full Facebook post (emphasis added, sic as applicable)
The two days Joint meeting of BCI with representatives of all the State Bar Councils has ended few hours before.
The meeting has unequivocally n strongly condemned the actions of Law Commission of India n it’s Chairman for the attempt to take away the autonomy n independence of Indian Bar.
The commission has tried to make the lawyers subordinates to Judges n judicial officers. The meeting has expressed strong resentment to the recommendations of Law Commission by which it has put the entire legal fraternity in jeopardy. Any judicial officer or any dishonest/ cunning / frustrated client can put even sincere n diligent lawyer in trouble on the basis of the draconian definition of Misconduct given by Law Commission.
The members of Bar Councils are to b nominated by High Courts n Supreme Court. More than 50% of such members r to b Doctors, people from the fields of Commerce, Accountancy or management. N these people under the chairmanship of a former Judge of H.C or S.C. r to conduct the proceedings relating to any complaint of misconduct against the Lawyers.
Even the lawyers would b required to pay compensation to the clients in case they go on strikes,abstinence or fail to appear in cases due to any reason.
The meeting of Bar Councils has totally rejected the recommendations n bill of Law Commission.N it has demanded from Govt to throw it in Dustbin. Nothing more n nothing less.
The meeting has also demanded the provisions for protection n social security for the lawyers n their families. Schemes for Insurance of lawyers n their family members( dependants ), medi-claim , pension to lawyers ( if they opt to retire or become unable to practice due to health or age reasons ),family pension in case of death of lawyers, schemes for stipend to young lawyers, provision for housing,sitting arrangements in court premises,adequate library facilities , loan for vehicle etc.are the demands of meeting from Union Govt.
The meeting was fully against the involvement of former Judges in the committees of Bar Councils. N the meeting has demanded that there should b no assignment for the judges of H.Cs. n S.C. after their retirement.
The meeting has demanded immediate removal of the Chairman of Law commission from his post . N the meeting has made a demand for appointment of any Senior /renowned Advocate on this post.
In order to oppose the recommendations n proposed bill ,the joint meeting of BCI with the Bar Councils has taken following decisions---
1. On 16th April the State Bar Councils will convene the meeting at state H.Q. of Council n the representatives of all Bar Associations ,in order to make them aware of the agitation programs.
2. A signature campaign will b undertaken by the Bar Associations of country demanding the rejection of recommendations of Law commission in toto.
3. On 21st April during Luncheon interval the lawyers throughout the country will assemble outside the Court premises n burn the copies of recommendations n bill of Law commission. N thereafter they will hand over a memorandum to Union Govt through the Concerned D.Ms./Governor. The lawyers will abstain from court works after luncheon interval on 22st April.
4. If the recommendations of Law Commission r not rejected even after that,then on 2nd May ,there shall b rally of BCI ,all the members of all the Bar Councils,(sitting n former,who r members of ad-hoc committees),the representatives of all the Bar Associations of the Country at Delhi. The protest March will start from the premises of Patiala House Court n proceed for Rajghat.
In all the protest programs the lawyers will b in full court dresses.
5. If the demands against the anti lawyer recommendations is not accepted even till 2nd May ,then massive rallies n jail Bharo campaign will b undertaken by BCI ,State Bar Councils n Bar Associations of the country’s Delhi n throughout the country.
The meeting has also resolved to give proper weight age to The Coordination Committee of Bar Associations of Delhi. N also to recognise the former members of Delhi Bar Council as members of ad hoc committee .
The meeting has also constituted an action committee n BCI is to nominate the members of this committee as well as of Drafts Committee in consultation with State B.Cs.
I’ll post the entire resolution of the joint meeting within 2 days.
The meeting has requested Odisha Bar Council ,it’s members n all the Bar Associations of Odisha to strictly follow the decisions of joint meeting n the meeting has directed Odisha Bar Council to cancel it’s proposed meeting of 22nd April, such meeting may damage the lawyers unity. N may b an attempt to divide n mislead the lawyers.
The meeting has also depricated the attempt of Law Commission in making an attempt to divide the Bar Associations of the country in 2 categories. Giving a separate status to SCBA n placing it at par with State Bar Councils is a nonsense step of Commission. It’s an unreasonable discrimination having no logic at all. The joint meeting has expressed it’s strong anguish against some concerted efforts of some people n office bearers of a few Associations to divide the lawyers n to malign the BCI or State Bar Councils.
The Law Commission has spread a totally false n misleading rumour that it’s recommendations are based on the recommendations of BCI. The meeting has strongly deprecated this action of Law Commission . It has unsuccessfully tried to mislead the lawyers of this country . One of the Hon’ble member of Law Commission himself has clarified this fact that MR Chuhan,the chairman of Law Commission had prepared the anti lawyer bill n recommendation on 7th March itself. N Mr Abhay Bardwaj,one of the member strongly opposed . Mr Bhardwaj has assured the BCI to participate in the next meeting of BCI in order to make these things public.
The lawyers are not going to accept even a single proposal of law commission.
The meeting has also decided to meet Hon’ble P.M.,Hon’ble Law Minister as well as Hon’ble Mr. Arun Jaitley ji to make them acquented with the misdeeds of Law Commission . The delegation will request these dignitaries to immediately reject the recommendations n bill of law commission .The delegation shall also make our Hon’ble P.M.and other Hon’ble Ministers aware of the fact that that some powerful people are giving threats to the Council n it’s office bearers to take certain steps n hatch concpiracy to malign the image of BCI or SBCs in order to justify the anti lawyer bill.
BCI ,State Bar Councils and all the Bar Associations of the Country need the full support n active participation of each n every lawyer of our country in every programs of agitation.
Ur valuable suggestions are always solicited.
I,as the Chairman of BCI, seek not only ur sopport but also the blessings of my elder brothers for the success of lawyers in this move.
Thanks n regard.
Yours n only yours ---
Manan Kumar Mishra Chairman, B.C.I.