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BCI Calls Comments From State Bar Councils On Bill To Extend Disqualification From Enrollment To Convicted Persons [Read Circular] 2019-05-15 20:33:54

The Bar Council of India has called comments/ views of the State Bar Council on "The Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2019 introduced by Member of Parliament Rabindra Kumar Jena proposing amendment to provisions of Advocates Act for disqualification for enrolment of any advocate who has been convicted of contempt of court or removed from Centre or State service and removal of name from the State rolls if found guilty of serious misconduct or obstructing courts work.

The BCI sought comments/ view of the State Bar Councils after a letter from the Ministry of Law and Justice sought its comments on the Bill introduced by Jena suggesting amendments to Section 24A and 26A of the Advocates Act, 1961.

The BCI decided to call comments from all State Bar Councils.

Jena is an MP from Odisha.

He has suggested amendments to Section 24A (Disqualification for enrolment) and Section 26A (Power to remove names from roll).

At present Section 24A provides that

No person shall be admitted as an advocate on a State roll—a) if he is convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude; (b) if he is convicted of an offence under the provisions of the Untouchability (Offences) Act, 1955.

Jena has suggested that the same be amended to include disqualification for enrolment of a person as an advocate on a State roll if he has been convicted of contempt of court subject to any decision of the court and if he has been dismissed or removed from service or employment under the Union or the State or its undertakings.

With regard to Section 26A, in its present form, it states that "A State Bar Council may remove from the State roll the name of any advocate who is dead or from whom a request has been received to that effect."

Jena has suggested that the same be amended to include removal of name from rolls of advocates found guilty of serious misconduct, obstruction of court work or who has incurred disqualification under Section 24A.

Jena says the new provisions are required to take care of the objectives of undesirability of a convicted person being allowed to perform important public functions.

He says at present a convicted person can be enrolled after expiry of two years from the completion of sentence for which there can be hardly any justification.

[Read Circular]