'Bill, a hasty decision by HRD Minister'

Lawyers boycott court proceedings in DK, Udupi

'Bill, a hasty decision by HRD Minister'

Coming down heavily on the HRD Ministry’s proposal to table draft of various bills that will affect legal education and Advocates Act 1961, Mangalore Bar Association supported the call given by the Bar Council of India and staged a protest march from District Court to Deputy Commissioner’s office in Mangalore on Wednesday.

Addressing the protesters, Mangalore Bar Council President S P Chengappa demanded that the Legal Education and Advocates Act should be excluded from the purview of Higher Education and Research Bill 2011 (Draft HER Bill), The National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Act 2010, The Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill 2010, The Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Higher Educational Institution Bill 2010 and the National Law Schools Bill 2011.

“The proposed bills will directly affect the vital and basic structures of Advocates Act, 1961, under which total autonomy and independence was given to the Bar Council of India and State Bar Councils to regulate Legal Profession and Legal Education,” said Chengappa.

The Higher Education and Research Bill 2011 proposes to take away the duties and functions entrusted to the Bar Council of India and State Bar Councils and it proposes to vest all these powers with a National Commission constituting very few academicians.

The Bar Council of India and State Bar Councils are of firm belief that the proposed new legislations would lower the status of the legal profession and is stealthily trying to invite foreign firms to settle down in India thereby depriving the legal profession in India of its legitimate claims.

The type of confusion these legislations will create will only bring down the name of the legal profession.

The proposals to invite outsiders to India goes against the principles of reciprocity as envisaged under the Advocates Act, 1961.

The Section 47 of the Act clearly lays down that where citizens of India are prevented from practising in any other country or are treated with discrimination, no subject of that country should be allowed to practice the profession of law in India.

“The ground realities of the nation have been ignored in these Bills. We can not compare ourselves with USA and UK at the moment. Before making any law and scheme, we have to consider the real state of affairs prevailing in our villages and townships which is vastly populated.

It is easy to draft or to make a law sitting in Delhi, but it is difficult, rather impossible to achieve the desired goal of such laws because of its impractical and unrealistic nature,” said Chengappa.

He also alleged that from the introductory part of the Higher Education and Research Bill 2011, it is obvious that this Bill is hasty decision taken by the HRD Minister Kapil Sibal.

“The Bar Council of India and the state governments have not been consulted before drafting such bills. The motive behind the decision to draft such bills and to change the whole education system clearly appears to be oblique and intention is mala-fide,” he said.

Effigy burnt

In spite of a heavy downpour, the lawyers abstained from court proceedings and took out a protest march which was flagged off by Senior Advocate Purushotham Jois.

An effigy of Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal was burnt. A  memorandum was submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, to be sent to the Central government to withdraw the proposed Bill. On July 12, the members will stage a dharna in court premises from 11 am to 12 noon.

In Kundapur

The lawyers from Kundapur supported the call given by the Bar Council of India and abstained from court proceedings on Wedensday.

The lawyers under the guidance of Kundapur Bar Association President A B Shetty submitted a memorandum to Assistant Commissioner, to be sent to the Central government flaying the various Bills proposed by the HRD Ministry.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Kundapur Bar Association General Secretary K C Shetty said that the lawyers will abstain from court proceedings even on Thursday as a mark of protest.

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