The Supreme Court has asked all state bar councils to make an effort to conclude verification of all advocates registered with them by June 30. The verification process is in conformity to the new rules Bar Council of India – the apex disciplinary body – issued last year to weed out fake advocates.
On May 10, a bench headed by justice PC Ghose said: “It appears that the BCI has taken steps to cause an enquiry and find out fake lawyers out of its members and persons who are not even members of the Bar Councils in accordance with the Advocates Act, 1961(law that lays down ethics and regulations for the legal committee).”
The councils will submit a report to the BCI, which will in July first week update the SC on the steps taken to abide by the order. The bench has given liberty to the councils to seek more time if there is they are unable to complete the verification process.
The court’s order came on an application filed by a Delhi-based advocate asking the bench to fix a deadline. He complained the BCI has barred state councils from holding elections until the verification is over. According to him the Delhi Bar Council’s term has ended and there is no announcement to hold fresh polls.
BCI chairman Manan Kumar Misra, however, told HT that though the councils have been asked to speed up the process, there will be no compromise on their part to ensure fake advocates are thrown out. “There are 17 lakh advocates practising in the country. The process involves verification of all the certificates. It will take time and we will not do it in a hurry,” he said.
Misra said if the councils are able to complete 50% then the BCI will seek for an extension of the deadline.