The Bar Council of India has rejected the 266th report of the Law Commission, which recommended changes in the Advocates Act of 1961, terming it “draconian, anti-lawyer and undemocratic”. BCI Secretary Srimanto Sen said in a press release on Sunday that the BCI had received a letter from the Union Law Ministry seeking its suggestions on the report.
“Based on the aforesaid letter of the Union Ministry of Law & Justice, the Bar Council of India had convened a joint meeting of Bar Council of India with all the High Court Bar Association/s of the country, the coordination Committee of Bar Associations of Delhi and other Bar Associations on July 8, 2017 and another joint meeting with the representatives of all the State Bar Councils on July 9, 2017. In the aforesaid joint meetings it was unanimously decided to reject the draconian, anti-lawyer and undemocratic 266th report of Law Commission of India in toto,” he said.
It was also resolved to request the government to reject the report. The BCI will in consultation with the state bar council and various bar associations formulate its own recommendations regarding amendments needed to the Advocates Act and present it to the government, Sen added.
The BCI had been up in arms against the report which it said had suggested including non-lawyers in Bar Councils and called for strict disciplinary action against lawyers for contempt. There was also a provision to refund clients in case lawyers participate in strikes. Incidentally, the 266th report of the Law Commission has also backed entry of foreign lawyers and law firms into India.