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How can BCI champion legal reform if its chairman has such attitude? LiveLaw, The Hoot, run stories on BCI transparency

Manan Kumar Mishra
Manan Kumar Mishra

Two publications, Livelaw, which caters to lawyers, and The Hoot, which is a media watch website for and about journalists, have written about Bar Council of India (BCI) chairman Manan Kumar Mishra’s legal notice against Legally India.

Legally India had responded on 8 June with a 46-page letter setting out the discrepancies in the tender process Mishra used to award the All India Bar Exam (AIBE) contract to a private and apparently unsuitable contractor, ITES Horizon Pvt Ltd.

Livelaw reported last week, summarising Legally India’s response:

“Legally India” responds to May 25 notice issued by Bar Council of India; says Manan Kumar Mishra’s actions as the BCI’s elected chairman have tarnished the image of the institution

The Hoot on 12 June in an article by Prashant Reddy, who occasionally writes for Legally India, argued in an article entitled “Bar Council shows its colours” that “faced with a critical article about a tender, the Bar Council of India has made threatening noises. With this attitude, how can it champion legal reform?”

In this age of 24/7 news, there are only a few institutions which have managed to escape any kind of scrutiny or public criticism. The Bar Council of India (BCI) was one such institution…

The second problem is the ease with which the Chairperson has threatened Legally India with a shutdown on the mere allegation of defamation. For all the faults of Indian lawyers, there is no doubt that it is Indian lawyers who have protected the spine of fundamental rights in this country so how did the Bar Council of India vote as its Chairperson a man who clearly has little understanding of, or respect for, the freedom of the press?

If this is going to be the attitude of the BCI to criticism, how are we ever going to have any accountability or reform in the way the legal profession is regulated, a task which is at the core of legal reforms in India?

Read full story on The Hoot by clicking here

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