In spite of the clash between police and lawyers in the district court, the bar council of India had formulated new changes in the Practice rules of advocates and law students. BCI had proposed minimum qualification for candidates to practice bar associations and council. The reason behind this move is that the clash between Delhi police and district court lawyers is a shame in the history of the legal profession.
The Bar Council of India had made it mandatory for law graduates to have four years of field experience to enroll and practice in the Supreme Court. The apex court had observed that it is necessary to ensure any lawyer appearing in the top court must attain the minimum qualification. Some lawyers opposed it by stating that it may cause hierarchy in the profession. But BCI had strictly instructed that to protect the dignity and sanctity of the legal profession, it is necessary to have minimum qualification for candidates to practice in councils and associations.
The proposal will be effective by March 2020. Also, BCI had stated that it will make radical changes in the rules of advocates Act, the law that governs the legal profession. The new resolution also asked lawyers for compulsory attend the legal education programs conducted by bar associations and bar councils. In the present scenario, such training is voluntary and not mandatory. BCI had intended lawyers to renew their licenses every five years. The training program will be for those with less than 10 years of practice. BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra and co-chairmen S Prabhakaran and Ved Prakash Sharma had signed the resolution. The resolution asked law graduates to compulsory work in district courts for two years before appearing in the High court.
Sharma Stated that ” The need to amend the rule has been under discussion for quite some time. BCI gave it a serious thought after CJI Bobde made the remarks at the SCBA function. These proposals will be discussed with various state bar councils, which are the disciplinary body for lawyers in states before they are finalized. The meeting (to finalize them) will be held in January 2020.” The senior advocate K Vishwanathan welcomed the decision and stated that “The nature of practice is no longer confined to civil and criminal areas. Disputes arising in Company Law, Securities Law, Electricity Law, Telecom Law have been moved to specialized tribunals, with appeals to the Supreme Court. Practice before high courts and tribunals should be allowed immediately on enrolment. As far as the SC is concerned, the talent of students from top law schools cannot be lost, as their legal research skills will be invaluable. Bar membership should be given to them.”
The senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan stated that “I don’t agree with the suggestion of the compulsory number of years of practice in any particular court. Lawyers should be allowed to start wherever and at whatever level is comfortable. Someone wanting to do Constitutional law will waste his early years in a trial court while another who is passionate about criminal trial work will be able to start at his court of choice. The skill sets are different in each court and it is surprising that the Bar Council is creating a hierarchy of lawyers. I started directly in the SC from day one and I don’t think I have done a shabby job of going about picking up experience.” The rule is applicable to every lawyers in India.
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