THE BAR Council of India (BCI) on Sunday asked the Bar associations of Jammu High Court and Kathua to call off their strike in connection with the Kathua rape-murder. The Council also decided to send a five-member fact-finding team to Jammu to inquire into allegations of misconduct by the lawyers.
After a meeting of its general body on Sunday, BCI Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra told reporters, “The BCI has decided to issue a direction and make an appeal to the Jammu High Court Bar Association and the Kathua Bar Association to call off their strike with immediate effect. We have made a request and issued a direction to them to convene an extraordinary meeting tomorrow to decide on the issue.”
Asked what the Council will do if any advocate is found guilty of misconduct, Mishra said, “The Council can go to the extent of cancelling the licence to practise law.”
The general body meeting was convened following a notice issued to the BCI by the Supreme Court on Friday while taking cognizance of the alleged conduct of the lawyers over the incident.
The fact-finding team, which will visit Jammu on April 20, will be headed by former High Court judge Justice Tarun Agarwala and will also include S Prabakaran and Rameshchandra G Shah, both Co-Chairman of BCI, Razia Beig, former Chairman of Bar Council of Uttarakhand, and Naresh Dixit, advocate at Patna High Court.
“The committee will visit Jammu, Kathua and other places to find out the truth,” the BCI said in a statement, adding that it will contact all concerned.