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Bar Council of India (BCI) President Manan Mishra on Thursday assured striking lawyers in the capital that he will withdraw his recommendation to the Law Commission to debar and fine lawyers who participate in strikes. On Thursday morning, thousands of lawyers abstained from work and gathered at the BCI office at ITO. Delhi Police had cordoned off the BCI building, outside which the lawyers hurled accusations of graft and abuse of power at the BCI president, and burnt his effigy.
The lawyers’ coordination committee of the All District Court Bar Associations had called for a strike in the lower courts in protest against the recommendation. The BCI president had recommended fines and suspension of licences of striking lawyers. The lawyers had warned that if the recommendations were not withdrawn, the strike would expand to the rest of the country.
“I am one of you, I will never act against you. On March 31, we in BCI are having a meeting where I will withdraw my recommendations,” said Mishra to the crowd chanting slogans against him. The crowd, however, was not pleased, and demanded the assurance in writing. An hour later, Mishra presented a draft letter, assuring the crowd that he will withdraw the recommendation”.
“Today, there was a large protest by members of the coordination committee in the premises of the Bar Council of India. In view of the matter, in my opinion, the matter requires re-consideration of BCI. Recommendation regarding the aforementioned points are hereby withdrawn,” said the draft. Speaking to the media, Mishra said he will also take up the issue of a universal pension scheme for lawyers with the government.