Kerala High Court questions the bar council’s norm under the BCI Certificate and Place of Practice (Verification) Rules of 2015

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The Kerala High Court has questioned the new rules that has been brought by the Bar Council of India that the advocates should state about their status as to working lawyers or not with a certificate that would be issued by the Bar after being inspected. A petition was filed in Thiruvananthapuram by a High court lawyer L Mohanan of Pravachambalam stating that lawyer’s fundamental right has been infringed. Where he has sought an order to quash the rules that is framed by BCI under Certificate and Place of Practice (Verification) Rules of 2015. Mohanan in his petition has stated that the BCI has issued the rules without any legal authority and thus it violates the rights given under the constitution like right to freedom of expression, right to equality before law, and right to protection of life. Petition stated that the lawyers were banned from practicing before court without a valid certificate from BCI who has enrolled in state bar council.

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He further contended that the BCI’s demand that the lawyers who are practicing for many years and who have completed 50 years should get verification but those enrolled post 2010 are exempted from this rule is also violation of constitutional rights. Justice k Vinod Chandran said that the stay on this would be in place for a month. When the High Court lawyer sought the stay by applying the writ petition and thus the court gave the interim directions on it. Mohanan said that BCI had no right to say this and cannot force on such certificates.  Where the rule of BCI made it compulsory for every lawyer to get the certificate who had enrolled post 2010. Lawyers who have more than 15 years of practice should get verification. He said that BCI issued this new rule without legal authority and the circular was passed which was in violation of Advocates Act provisions. In the petition he also criticised the utilisation of funds of Bar Council of both Centre and State that are used in a lavish manner without being audited as per the law. Petitioner also said that as he has enrolled under Kerala Bar Council he has the right to practice anywhere in India and even before Supreme Court and Tribunals.

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by Sushma Javare.