SC notice to BCI for suspending licence of 5970 lawyers

SC notice to BCI for suspending licence of 5970 lawyers

The Supreme Court. DH file photo

The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Bar Council of India on a plea challenging the move to suspend licence of 5970 lawyers from Tamil Nadu over their failure to deposit sum of Rs 15,000 to Advocates Welfare Fund.

A bench of Justices S A Bobde and S Abdul Nazeer sought a response from  the Bar Council of India, Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry within four weeks on a petition filed by Sabarish Subramanian who claimed the decision has put the advocates under “utter shock and surprise”, jeopardising their reputation built over the years.

The petitioner was represented by advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan.

He sought a direction to quash or suspend the notice of March 22 passed under Rule 40, Part VI chapter II of the Bar Council of India Rules wherein it was decided to suspend the right to practice of 5970 advocates in any court, tribunal or other authority for non-payment to advocate welfare fund.

The petitioner claimed the decision was taken without any prior notice to the advocates. The welfare fund is meant to take care a lawyer's dependents who were paid Rs 11 Lakh from the BCI and Rs 50,000 from the state Bar Council in case of death, he said.