BCI opposes move to bring lawyers under Consumer Protec

Bar Council of India opposes move to bring lawyers under Consumer Protection Act

The Bar Council of India has expressed "anguish" and "resentment" on behalf of over 20 lakh advocates of the country at the government's decision to bring lawyers within the purview of the Consumer Protection Act.

In a letter to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, the BCI said that the proposal should be withdrawn or else the lawyer fraternity would be left with no option but to launch a massive agitation and protest against it. The Bar Council of Delhi also shot off a similar letter to Minister Ram Vilas Paswan. The Delhi HC Bar Association also wore white armbands as a mark of protest on Thursday.

The BCI said it was a judicially acknowledged fact that advocates are not part of any trade, commerce or industry nor does their work fall within the ambit of Service Tax Act but it was merely an activity in aid and assistance of the justice administration system.

It said the Advocates Act, 1961 is sufficient enough to safeguard interests of litigants and it has a proper mechanism in place to hold a lawyer guilty in case of any professional misconduct.

Bringing lawyers under the Consumer Protection Act will hamper their professional activities and encourage frivolous complaints which would undermine the legal profession and would also be demeaning for the advocates, it further said.

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