New Delhi: The Law Commission recommended extensive amendments to the law governing lawyers, making it more stringent, in a report made available on its website on Friday.
This report comes even as lawyers resorted to protests before the Bar Council of India office on Thursday against the suggestions.
The 267th report of the Commission noted that “the Law Commission...felt that the conduct of the advocates, directly as well as indirectly affects the functioning of the courts, and thereby contributing to the pendency of cases," the panel noted in its 118-page report.
The Commission, headed by former apex court judge B. S. Chauhan, recommended at least 31 amendments to the Advocates Act, 1961.
The amendments defined misconduct by an advocate to include the grounds which could lead to disqualification from the state rolls.
The suggestions also changed the existing clauses on what would constitute grounds for a lawyer’s disqualification. Existing provisions provide for disqualification on grounds of moral turpitude, being convicted under an offence under the Untouchability Act, or being removed from government employment for moral turpitude. The disqualification is for two years.
The commission said anyone guilty of contempt of court should be disqualified; it also removed the two-year limit.
There’s also a clause which increases the punishment for advocates practising illegally from six months to three years.