Bar Council of India chairman Manan Kumar Mishra on Thursday said licences of advocates will be cancelled if they are found guilty of having indulged in violence against JNU students and journalists at the Patiala House Court complex.
Mishra said such unruly behavior by members of the bar cannot be tolerated amid growing uproar over lawyers turning violent during JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar’s hearings.
“It is the most unfortunate incident. We consider it shameful for the legal profession as a whole. Lawyers are educated and considered to be intellectuals. They are not expected to indulge in such activities,” Mishra told HT.
Prodded about the assault on mediapersons, the BCI chairman said: “Media has to be allowed to function independently. No prudent lawyer would appreciate an attack on the media, whatever may be the provocation.”
He then apologized to media persons on behalf of lawyers’ community.
Mishra said BCI has formed a three-member panel, headed by a former Chief Justice of a high court, to look into the matter and submit a report in three weeks.
“Names of the bar members found guilty of having indulging in violence will be removed from the rolls,” the BCI chairman said.
Maintaining that normally it was for the state bar council concerned that took disciplinary action in such matters, Mishra said: “We have exercised our power to take suo motu action as it was a serious matter.
On lawyers assaulting accused Kanhaiya Kumar, the BCI chairman said: “Lawyers are supposed to protect the accused because an accused is presumed to be innocent till proven guilty. This kind of behaviour by them is shameful.”
To weed out criminal elements from the legal profession, Mishra said, BCI has framed Verification Rules 2015 under which educational certificates of lawyers and their criminal antecedents were being checked. Those not practicing would be removed from the bar rolls. “We are preparing a database with the help of lawyers and state bar councils,” he added.