Karnataka High Court proposes amendment to rules to empower Chief Justice to suspend advocates for boycotting court proceedings

It proposes to treat strike/boycott of courts by advocates as interference with the administration of justice

Updated - April 12, 2024 09:36 pm IST

Published - April 12, 2024 09:35 pm IST - Bengaluru

The High Court of Karnataka has proposed amendment to its rules to treat strike/boycott of courts by advocates as interference with the administration of justice and to authorise the Chief Justice to suspend advocates who resort to strike from practising in any court in the State for a particular period.

An amendment in this regard is being proposed in the draft of the “rules laying down the conditions subject to which an advocate shall be permitted to practice in the High Court and the courts subordinate thereto (Amendment) Rules, 2024,” which was notified last month.

What draft rules say

As per the draft rules, the advocates/association of advocates, will have to address a written representation to the Chief Justice (CJ) or the Grievance Redressal Committee (GRC) in case of any grievance/complaints.

The GRC would comprise the CJ, two senior judges of the High Court (one each from the service and from the Bar), the Advocate-General, the chairman, Karnataka State Bar Council, the president of the Bar association, Administrative Judge of the High Court and the Principal District and Sessions Judge.

The draft rules state that the GRC is empowered to hear the grievances of the advocates/association of advocates who intend to resort to strike/boycott or doing acts interfering with the administration of justice.

In the event of the erring advocates/association of advocates not abiding by any advice for amicable resolution, the GRC would be at liberty to submit a report to the CJ for initiation of appropriate proceedings, including proceedings under the Contempt of Courts (CC) Act against the advocates concerned, state the draft rules.

If proceeding under the CC Act is registered, and if the CJ, pending such proceedings, is of the view that the acts of the advocate(s) amount to interfering in the administration of justice, may order for suspension of the right to practice of such advocate(s) in any court for a period co-terminus with the period of proceedings initiated under the CC Act, it has been proposed in the draft rules.

The CJ is also vested with the power to revoke such suspension in appropriate circumstances.

On conviction of advocates under the CC Act, the CJ may suspend right to practice of the advocate(s) concerned for a period specified in the order in the contempt of court proceedings.

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