A Bengaluru-based lawyer has submitted a petition with two lakh signatures to get ML Sharma and AP Singh— the lawyers defending December 16 gang rape convicts— debarred to the Bar Council of India (BCI).
The petition was launched online after the two lawyers made alleged derogatory remarks against women in a BBC documentary, ‘India’s daughter’.
The petition is addressed to the Bar Council chairman, Manan Kumar Mishra, demanding suspension of the two lawyers.
The petition is the first written complaint that BCI has received on this matter. The submission of the petition comes two days before the council sub-committee is set to meet and discuss the petition.
Lawyer Raghul Sudheesh had started the petition on March 5 at change.org and in just three weeks he had gathered over 2.3 lakh signatures. Raghul, accompanied by few law students, flew all the way from Trivandrum to Delhi where they submitted the petition in person.
“I am hopeful that BCI would take a bold step and initiate immediate action. If the BCI fails to act, I would be moving the Supreme Court. I will not let down the hopes of over two lakh people who have signed my petition and will fight to ensure that these two lawyers are taken to task,” said Raghul.
He also wants the BCI to direct both lawyers to tender an unconditional apology failing which they should be debarred from practice permanently.
“BCI should also amend its rules to check lawyers from making derogatory remarks when they represent persons in sensitive cases involving crimes against women,” Raghul said in his petition.
This petition is just one among the 50 started in the aftermath of the massive controversy kicked up by the documentary made by a British filmmaker.