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BCI sub-committee, on behalf of 17 lakh (!) lawyers, likens LC report on profession’s reform to 1975 Emergency

A Bar Council of India (BCI) sub committee consisting of Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) president Kirti Uppal and seven others opposed the Law Commission's recommendation that bar council elections should be replaced by nomination and called it an attempt similar to measures taken during India's 1975 constitutional emergency, reported Live Law.

Uppal, sub committee convenor JD Jaibhave and members Shirish Mehrotra, Amit K Vaid, Asim Pandya, Dipen Dave, Jitendra Sharma and Rajiv Sharan were considering the LC's 266th report which controversially suggested changes in the Advocates Act 1961 such as nomination over bar council elections, abolishing lawyer strikes (which ironically led to the BCI calling for lawyer strikes).

The committee states in its recorded observations:

A very strong oppose will have to be recorded on behalf of 17 lakh advocates of the country regarding amendment proposed in report number 266 whereby this democratic functioning of the bar council is withdrawn and instead a non-democratic functioning on the basic principle of nomination are incorporated.

In the backdrop of such dark shadow of democracy, reference was made to the Law Commission for considering functioning of bar council. Under that reference, 75th report of Law Commission of India was prepared under Justice HR Khanna where true spirit of independent and autonomous functioning of Bar council on principle of self governance was strongly retained.

The said report is totally ignored while preparing report number 266 and an attempt similar to period of Emergency is tried to be made by Law Commission of India for suggesting undemocratic amendments in Advocates Act whereby the status of legal profession will be totally in Dark Shadow of a controlled system through retired judges, Supreme Court, High Court and the government.

Of course, it should be mentioned that according to the latest metrics that we had reported, it is unlikely there ever were 17 lakh lawyers in India, as the rolls of state bar councils have been reduced in size by 50% or more since the verification drive weeded out non-practising (and probably a few dead) advocates.

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