Lawyers in Madhya Pradesh are divided over the enactment of a separate Act safeguarding their interests against attacks and threats from anti-social elements.
While most of the advocates are in favour of such an Act, law experts in the state feel that it is premature to enact any such law protecting any profession in particular.
Gopal Kacholiya, general secretary of Indore District Bar Association said, “We live under constant threat from anti-social elements; there have been several instances in the past where lawyers have been attacked by criminals.”
The chief minister should remember the promise he made back in 2012, of bringing in ‘Lawyer Protection Act’, and enact it at the earliest, added Kacholiya.
A civil judge, who doesn’t want to named, said, “In a society, where violence is norm of the day, not just lawyers, but every person is equally vulnerable. There is no need to protect one section and neglect others.”
Law expert, Tapan R Mohanty, professor at National Law Institute University (NLIU), Bhopal, said, “Rights of advocates are protected and grievances are addressed under Indian Advocates Act, 1961. Moreover there are bar councils and state bar councils for their protection. In our Constitution, special rights are provided to underprivileged groups.”
Whereas, a senior advocate, Anand Mohan Mathur opined that, “The murder of advocate Khandelwal is unfortunate; it appears that he was entangled in a property dispute, and was killed for performing his duties.” Such a law is necessary when these kinds of things are happening, otherwise, not, he added.
The move intensified after an advocate was abducted and killed here a week ago. Advocate Devendra Khandelwal was abducted on December 23 and killed owing to a property dispute.
About 5,000 advocates boycotted their work on Tuesday in the wake of the incident and demanded enactment of Lawyers Protection Act.
Stray incidents of attacks on lawyers have been reported from different parts of the state. An advocate, president of Bar Council’s Ujjain wing, was shot dead in 2013, and a lawyer was attacked recently in Mandsaur district.
Representations have also been sent to State Bar Council in Jabalpur and Bar Council of India, said Manish Yadav, secretary of Indore High Court Bar Association.