Civil Procedure Code (CPC)

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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The parliament in 1961 enacted the Advocates Act to amend laws relating to the legal practitioner and to constitute State Bar Council and All India Bar Council.
  • The Bar Council of India is authorized under Section 49 (1) (c) of the Advocate Act, 1961 to make rules regarding the standards of professional conduct and etiquette that need to be followed by advocates within the jurisdiction.
  • As per BCI rule 3, 1961. Advocates are not allowed to influence court judgments. Bribery and coercion are examples of illegal methods.
  • If the act of an advocate is left to go unnoticed, it will send a very wrong signal to the general public.

Overview

The Indian legal profession has evolved to become the world's largest branch of the profession in less than 50 years. It is one of the most powerful professions in India. The profession was not even one-twentieth of its current size when the Advocates Act of 1961, was drafted.

Advocacy is a noble profession. An advocate is the most accountable and privileged in society, and his/her acts are important to be regulated. An Advocate is a person who is permitted to practice in courts and plead on behalf of others. Parliament in 1961 enacted the Advocates Act to amend laws relating to the legal practitioner and to constitute State Bar Council and All India Bar Council. An Advocate has to be registered with the State Bar Council as provided under the Advocates Act, 1961.

The State bar council and its disciplinary committee are empowered to punish for Professional or Other Misconduct under the Advocates Act, 1961.

Bar Council of India

The Bar Council of India (BCI) is a constitutional body formed under the Advocates Act, 1961. It is headed by a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman. In India, each state has a State Bar Council. The members of the state council vary depending upon the strength of advocates.

Functions of The Bar Council of India

a) To establish guidelines for advocate's professional conduct and decorum - The BCI makes rules relating to standards of conduct and professional etiquette to be adhered to by lawyers in court.

b) To establish the procedure to be followed by its disciplinary committee- The Disciplinary Committee of State Bar council initiates proceedings against those who violate the rules. The BCI acts as an appellate authority for the same.

c) To encourage and support the reform of the legal system- The BCI is responsible for the welfare of the advocates and represent their interests. They conduct numerous social and cultural activities.

d) To promote legal education and establish rules for it in cooperation with universities in India and the state bar councils- The BCI is responsible for promoting legal education. It prescribes types and standards of courses of study, eligibility for admission, infrastructure requirements and course structures. BCI, as part of its statutory functions, also inspects centres of legal education.

e) To provide legal aid to the underprivileged in the manner prescribed- Legal-aid aims to provide free legal services to poor people who can't afford any legal advisor. It is the right of the public and the obligation of the state.

f) Recognize foreign law qualifications gained outside of India for admission as an advocate in India on a reciprocal basis.

The Bar Council of India is authorized under Section 49 (1) (c) of the Advocate Act, 1961, to make rules regarding the standards of professional conduct and etiquette that need to be followed by advocates within the jurisdiction. Professional misconduct is behaviour that goes beyond what the governing body of a profession considers appropriate or worthy of the status. Disgraceful or dishonourablebehaviour unworthy of an advocate is, referred to as professional misconduct. The conduct of advocates is, described in chapter IV of the Advocate Act, 1961.

Noratanman Courasia Vs M.R. Murali

The SC studied the extent of the words “Professional Misconduct” under section 35 of the Advocates Act. Supreme court held that lawyers are obliged to observes the norms of behavior expected of them which makes him worthy of such status.

State of Punjab v/s Ram Singh Ex. Constable

In this case, SC stated that the misconduct may be defined as unlawful behaviour or neglect by a public officer, by which the rights of a party have been affected.

Tanuja Rajan & Anr. Vs State of Tamil Nadu

In this case, an advocate used derogatory words and threatened the police officer that she will strip off their uniforms if they tried to intervene and cause any hindrance to the movement during the lockdown. The court stated that if the act of an advocate is left to go unnoticed, it will send a very wrong signal to the general public.

Advocates Conduct in Courts

Advocates should always respect the courts and keep in mind that the dignity and respect with which they treat them are essential for the existence of a free society. As per BCI rule 3, 1961. Advocates are not allowed to illegally influence court judgments. Bribery and coercion are examples of illegal methods. In addition, Rule 3 forbids advocates from contacting directly with judges about current cases.

According to BCI Rule 4, 1961, advocates are also responsible for restraining and preventing their clients from turning to harsh or unjust practices.

Service Fees by Advocates

The Advocate's Code of Ethics prohibits advocates from adjusting fees paid to them by their clients against personal obligations owed to the clients that do not exist during the representation.

Advocates are prohibited by the Code of Ethics for Advocates from lending money to their clients for any activity or legal procedure in which the clients are involved. However, no advocate can be held liable for violating this rule if, during an incomplete suit, and without any agreement with the client, the advocate feels obligated to pay the court on the client's account for the continuance of the litigation because of the Court's rule.

Advocate’s Social Conduct

In their interactions with society, whether in their personal or professional capacities, advocates should not act in a way that is deceptive, fraudulent, or otherwise inconsistent with the proper practice of law.

They must not, however, use their positions and privileges as advocates to unfairly exploit members of the public for the benefit of themselves or others. If an advocate determines that an unqualified individual is representing another party, the advocate should cease communication with the unqualified individual without jeopardizing the interests of his or her client. Code of Ethics for Advocates only allows the advocate to appear following the court’s approval of the application.

Remedy for Breach of Rules

I. Initiation and Procedure

The State bar council and its disciplinary committee are empowered to punish for Professional or Other Misconduct under the Advocates Act, 1961.

Under section 35 of the Advocates Act, 1961, the State Bar Council on receiving the complaint shall refer the case to its disciplinary committee for inquiry. The committee provides a date for hearing the case and also issue a notice to the advocate concerned and the Advocate General of the state.

II. Appeal

As per section 37, any person aggrieved by an order passed by the disciplinary committee may, within 60 days of the date of order, file an appeal to the BCI. Any order passed under section 35 cannot prejudicially affect the person aggrieved.

III. Appeal to the Supreme Court

Any person aggrieved by an order made by the disciplinary committee under section 36 or 37 may, within 60 days of the date of order, file an appeal to the SC. Any order passed cannot prejudicially affect the person aggrieved.

IV. Review of Order

Under section 44, the disciplinary committee within 60 days of the date of the order may review any order passed by it, and it shall be approved by the BCI to be effective.

Conclusion

The importance of lawyers in society is significant. They are held in high regard and respect in society because they are members of the justice delivery system. Each individual has an established code of conduct that all members of society must adhere to it. A lawyer has a duty to his client, a duty to his opponent, a duty to the court, a duty to society at large, and a duty to himself in carrying out his professional duties.

They are, expected to maintain the dignity of the judicial office and treat the court with respect. It is because the Bar and the Bench are magnificent and dynamic partner dedicated to the social aim of justice administration. Mutual respect between the two is necessary for preserving cordial ties. It is an advocate's responsibility to do nothing that might bring the Court into disrepute.


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