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TN & Puducherry Bar Council passes orders against bursting firecrackers, self-glorification by newly enrolled advocates

Team SoOLEGAL 31 Dec 2018 4:00pm

TN & Puducherry Bar Council passes orders against bursting firecrackers, self-glorification by newly enrolled advocates

Anti-social celebrations, which included bursting of firecrackers and beating drums, by newly enrolled lawyers during the enrolment ceremony held at the Madras HC last week seems to have prompted the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (BCTN) to pass orders placing limits on the number of candidates who can be enrolled at a time as well as the number of enrollment functions held per week.

The council’s special committee, comprising senior advocate R Singaravelan and advocate N Chandrasekharan passed the order, dated December 21, 2018, after expressing their disapproval over the callous celebrations by the newly enrolled candidates on the said date.

The BCTN authorities, in fact, said that the activities were in violation of the undertaking signed by candidates, by which they had taken an oath not to print or publish posters, pamphlets, invitation cards, advertisement and other allied notifications.

Further, another clause of the same undertaking specifically prohibiting the bursting of firecrackers near the Bar Council premises was passed.

The BCTN order noted,

The very painful question arisen in our mind is as to whether the Enrolment of an Advocate warranted such a politically oriented event as if he was elected to the Assembly or Parliament.“

Criticising the conduct of the newly enrolled advocates, who took part in such celebrations, the order queries:

Are all the applicants for Enrolment who resorted to grand function on the Road at the cost of Public interest have taken part in any public interest oriented activities…or are their parents… ‘Thiyagies’ who got independence for the Nation to celebrate their Enrolment?…We do ask all of them a question as to when your sisters or brothers who attended the function suddenly developed heart attack what would have been your position?

On the date of Enrolment the human cries, noise, drum beating voice and atrocities of the newly enrolled Advocates are unbearable even to us who are beneficiaries of such an Enrolment…how the public could be able to react to this type of atrocity is the question…”

Keeping these concerns in minds, the BCTN then issued the following orders, in the interest of the State, the Society and genuine advocates in Courts:

  1. The grant of enrolment certificates for those who enrolled on December 21 will be subject to verification and scrutiny of the video footage taken during the event.
  2. Enrolment functions are to be conducted twice a week on every Wednesday and Saturday.
  3. Only 75 candidates should be enrolled at a time.
  4. Irrespective of the recommendation of the Bar & ‘higher authorities’, no more than 150 candidates will be allowed to be enrolled every week.
  5. The enrolled advocates should not burst crackers, beat drums, issue threats etc. as if someone has passed away. Everyone knows that the Enrolment is a holy ceremony and not a funeral ceremony.

While the council observed that stringent punishment was needed to be imposed on the errant advocates, but it decided to let off the advocates this time. The BCTN instead opined that the 534 newly enrolled candidates could donate at least Rs 1,000 towards the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for Cyclone Gaja rehabilitation efforts. The council, however, emphasised that this measure is not mandatory, only discretionary.

But, the BCTN has made it clear that any such future violations will not be treated lightly.

In another order passed the same day, the BCTN authorities have also penalised 11 enrolled advocates for affixing posters in and around the High Court and throughout the state “as if they have served for this country” and causing fear and confusion in the minds of the common public, as if they are part of the Bar Council.

For violating the Code of Conduct applicable to advocates, which bars such self-glorification/advertisement, the BCTN has directed the errant advocates to pay a sum of Rs 10,000 towards the Bar Council Welfare Fund, apart from tendering an apology. The order observes:

It is very painful to note that even before the commencement of their profession they have behaved in such a manner creating ugly atmosphere to the society…A lawyer is a person who should be fearless in putting forth grievances of his clients alone to the Court and not meant for blowing his own trumpet as it is not only against the equal professional interest of all other Advocates but also against the interest of the public

...if mercy is shown there will be no end for this type of violation and we cannot draw a line after line to bring every other stake within the permissible limits, which definitely affect the basic feature of the Indian Constitutional structure.”

Source: Bar&Bench

Tagged: Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry   BCTN   Senior Advocate R Singaravelan   Advocate N Chandrasekharan   Newly Enrolled Advocates  
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