Law panel for punishment to lawyers going on strike

Commission insists on relief to affected parties

Law panel for punishment to lawyers going on strike
The Law Commission has asked the Centre to make bring an amendment to the Advocates Act to regulate the legal profession and enable litigants, who suffer on account of lawyers’ misconducts and strikes, to seek compensation. In its 266th report to the Ministry of Law and Justice, the commission, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice B S Chauhan, said that there should also be a provision to award punishment to errant lawyers.

The panel, which gave a slew of suggestions to make advocacy a litigant-friendly affair, also sought punishment for advocates for going on strike and jeopardising the judicial business in courts. The commission also said that if a person suffers a loss due to the misconduct of an advocate or due to his/her participation in a strike, the victim should be able to claim compensation from the lawyer in question.

And the non-payment of fees by the claimant should not be a defence for the advocate against the claim of compensation, it added. The report has suggested a fine which may extend up to Rs 3 lakh, along with the cost of proceedings, as punishment for the misconduct. The report also sought to add in the functions of the Bar Council of India (BCI) the clause “to make rules to deal with strikes, boycotts or abstentions from courts by advocates, provide for suitable measures in this regard and to provide for punishments, including the punishment of disqualification from contesting any election of bar councils or of bar associations for a period of six years”.

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