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Call for action against lawyers with judge kin

Calcutta, June 10: In a letter to the West Bengal Bar Council, the Bar Council of India today asked it to conduct an inquiry into a complaint alleging that 14 judges were working in Calcutta High Court though their relations were practising lawyers in the same court.

The Bar Council of India also asked its state body to take action and consult the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court if the complaint was found true. In that case, the national council said, the chief justice can make necessary arrangements so that the judges concerned might be transferred to other states.

The council informed its state body that practising in courts where near relations are judges was in violation of the advocates’ Act and the council had the right to take penal action against the lawyers.

The council directed its state unit to take appropriate action against the “offending” lawyers. In its letter, the council specifically named the 14 judges whose kin were practising in the high court. The letter also mentions the names of the relatives.

In a separate letter to the Calcutta High Court Bar Association, the council said according to Rule VI of Bar Council of India Rules, “an advocate shall not enter, appear, act, plead or practice in any way before a court, tribunal or authority mentioned in Section 30 of the said Act, if the sole or any member thereof is related to the advocate as father, grandfather, son, grandson, uncle, brother, nephew, first cousin, wife, mother daughter, sister, aunt, niece, in-laws. For the purpose of the Rule, court shall mean a court, bench or tribunal in which above mentioned relations of the advocate is a judge or member or presiding office.’’

The state bar council’s executive member and former vice-chairman of the Bar Council of India admitted that he had received copies of the letter. He said it was true that the judges were liable for transfer to other states if their near relations were found practising in the same high court.

An official of the state bar council said the parent body had also asked it to prepare a separate list of lawyers in the high court who were near relations of the judges there.

Farm schools

The state government has decided to set up two agriculture schools in Cooch Behar and Burdwan with an eye to living up to its new farm policy.

The schools will start session next year. “We have infrastructure in Cooch Behar and Burdwan for such schools and anyone who has passed Class VIII would be eligible for admission,” said agriculture minister Kamal Guha.

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