Advocates Protection Bill introduced in Rajasthan assembly
According to the bill, the offender, in appropriate cases, shall also be liable to pay damages for loss or damage caused to the property of an advocate, as determined by the court
The Rajasthan state government on Thursday introduced the Advocates Protection Bill in the legislative assembly.
In this bill, acts like assault, grievous hurt, criminal force and criminal intimidation in connection with discharge of the duties of an advocate in court premises have been made an offence and all such offences will be cognizable.
In case of causing grievous hurt to an advocate, the bill provides for a maximum imprisonment of seven years and a fine of ₹50,000.
In case of assault on a lawyer, the maximum punishment will be imprisonment of two years and a fine of ₹25,000 and in cases of criminal force and intimidation against a lawyer, a maximum punishment of two years is proposed.
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“If a report of cognizable offence is received from the client or opposite client against the advocate for the act done, during discharge of his professional duties, the same may be registered only after an inquiry by the police officer not below the rank of deputy superintendent of police (DSP), which shall be completed within a maximum period of seven days and if a case is registered, a written information of the same be sent to the Bar Council of Rajasthan,” the bill stated.
According to the bill, the offender, in appropriate cases, shall also be liable to pay damages for loss or damage caused to the property of an advocate, as determined by the court and he shall also be liable to reimburse the medical expenses incurred by such advocate.
The bill also provides that on any report made by an advocate to the police in respect of any offence specified in the act committed against him, the police may, if deemed fit, provide him protection for such period and in such manner as prescribed in the rules.
Another important provision has also been made that if anyone misuses the provision of the act as an advocate or makes a false complaint for malicious purposes, he will be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years.
Calls for enacting this bill had gained momentum after the broad daylight murder of an advocate in Jodhpur on February 18 with advocates across the state boycotting judicial works.
However, several associations and struggle committee members have expressed their displeasure over the provisions of the bill introduced by the state government.
Chief convenor of the Sangharsh Samiti and high court bar president Mahendra Shandilya said the state government did not include many other provisions of the draft bill which was approved by the Bar Council in 2021 alleging they have destroyed the basic purpose of the bill by amending it adding that before the passage of the bill, suitable amendments should be made.