SC to evolve mechanism to clean up legal profession

“It is time to introspect. It will only help the entire fraternity,” says CJI T.S. Thakur.

March 05, 2016 02:36 am | Updated November 17, 2021 04:59 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The Supreme Court on Friday decided to set up a Constitution Bench to evolve a filtering mechanism to “once and for all” clean up the legal profession and prevent anti-social elements from becoming lawyers, who resort to “fighting, agitating, stone-throwing and abuse” instead of arguing in court.

A Bench, led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur, said it was time to raise the benchmark for the profession. The Bench, also comprising Justices R. Banumathi and U.U. Lalit, requested senior advocate K.K. Venugopal to assist the court in this endeavour.

The move follows two consecutive incidents of > mob violence in the Patiala House Courts complex when persons, dressed in black robes of lawyers, beat up members of the public, journalists and JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, who has been accused of sedition. The > second incident of violence on February 17 happened in defiance of the Supreme Court’s order to maintain calm.

“It is time to introspect. It will only help the entire fraternity. We have to find ways for improving the standards of the profession. Lawyers are agitating, fighting, stone-throwing, abusing... only a very few are arguing in courts,” Chief Justice Thakur said at the hearing in which Bar Council of India chairperson Manan Kumar Mishra was present.

SC seeks assistance on Bar clean-up

The Supreme Court Bench, which on Friday decided to set up a Constitution Bench to evolve a filtering mechanism to clean up the legal profession and prevent anti-social elements from becoming lawyers, gave senior advocate K.K. Venugopal and senior lawyers four days to suggest points of reference. Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur, heading the Bench, comprising Justices R. Banumathi and U.U. Lalit, said the case would be called up in another week.

The Bench was dealing with a petition challenging the legality of the Bar Council of India holding the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) without statutory backing. Asking whether the country deserved “half-baked lawyers”, the court pointed out that the system had already been burdened with two million advocates.

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