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SC : BCI Must Ensure Timely Disposal of Contempt Complaints Against Advocates

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BCI Bar Council of India Law Insider

Khushi Gupta

Published on: May 27, 2022 at 18:12 IST

The Supreme Court recently sought Bar Council of India’s detailed reply in a Contempt Petition alleging disobedience of Top Court’s directions asking Bar Councils to decide complaints against Advocates within 1 year of their receipt.

The Bench of Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna remarked that mere issuance of Circular or sending the intimation is not enough taking into account the submissions of BCI’s counsel that to comply with the directions, the BCI had issued circular to all the State Bar Councils on December 27, 2021.

“The Bar Council of India is required to see that the directions issued by this Court are truly and fully complied with by the Bar Council of India as well as all the State Bar Council/s,” Court further observed in its order.

A Bench comprising Justices M.R. Shah and B.V. Nagarathna held that, “Only in exceptional cases and on providing cogent and valid reasons for non-disposal within one year, the proceedings would be transferred to the Bar Council of India. It further observed that BCI ought to dispose of the transferred proceedings/complaints within a period of one year from the receipt of transfer” .

Considering that 1273 complaints were transferred to the BCI from State Bar Councils over the last five years. “The Court noted that a mechanism for disposal ought to be developed.”

The Disciplinary Committee of the State Bar Council on consideration of the said inquiry report would pass orders in accordance with the provision of Section 35 of the Advocates Act.

While adjourning the matter for July 18, 2022 the Bench asked BCI to file a report on or before July 14, 2022.