BCI pledges to formulate rules to punish striking advocates
The Supreme Court on Friday recorded an undertaking from the Bar Council of India that the BCI was formulating rules to punish advocates going on frequent strikes over petty issues and subjecting litigants to indefinite delay.
BCI chairperson and senior advocate Manan Kumar Mishra gave the assurance to a bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and M.R. Shah. The bench appreciated the stand of the regulatory body and adjourned the matter till September 20 to enable the BCI to file an affidavit.
“We propose to frame rules to curb strikes and boycotts and rules to punish members of Bar Associations who go on strike without proper justification. A meeting has been convened with all Bar Councils. The Bar Council of India proposes to form rules to curtail strikes by advocates and propose action against Bar Associations that act in breach, and propose action against advocates who promote strikes on social media,” Mishra told the court in his undertaking, seeking time to submit details.
The BCI’s submission follows a notice issued by the Supreme Court on February 28 last year for framing of rules to curb the rising instances of advocates striking work in different parts of the country.
The court said in its order on Friday: “…Mr Mishra submits that compliance with the directions contained in the judgment dated 28 February 2020 was delayed because of the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it has been stated that a meeting has been convened by the Bar Council of India of all the State Bar Councils on 4 September 2021.
“The Bar Council of India proposes to formulate a rule (i) to curtail strikes by advocates; (ii) to take action against erring members of Bar Associations who act in breach; and (iii) to take action against advocates who instigate strikes on social media.”
“Since the Bar Council of India is now seized of the matter, we adjourn the hearing of these proceedings to the third week of September 2021, by which date, the Bar Council of India shall file an affidavit indicating the steps that have been taken.
“We appreciate the proactive steps which are being taken by the Bar Council of India in this regard. List the Miscellaneous Application on 20 September 2021.”