The Rajasthan High Court, Jaipur Bench in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has recently sought a response from the State with regard to considering the issuance of guidelines for the protection of Advocates till appropriate legislation is framed by the legislature.

The Court also sought assistance from the Bar Council of India (BCI) through its Secretary and asked the same to come out with appropriate suggestions in this matter for framing guidelines.

A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava and Justice Anil Kumar Upman said, “Learned counsel for the petitioner would submit that looking to the present situation, this Court may consider issuance of guidelines till appropriate legislation is framed by the legislature. We would request learned counsel appearing for the Union of India, State Government and Bar Council of Rajasthan to give their response on this aspect as well on the next date of hearing.”

The Bench noted that though the grievance of the Members of the Bar has been taken up for consideration at different levels, but till date, no legislation has come.

Advocate Abhinav Sharma represented the petitioner while ASG R.D. Rastogi, Advocate C.S. Sinha, and AAG Major R.P. Singh represented the respondents.

In this case, the issue that arose was with regard to the framing of appropriate legislation for the protection of advocates which was pending since 2020. Recently, an incident of the murder of a lawyer in Rajasthan took place that led to wide spread agitation. When the matter came up for consideration, the State filed an affidavit, but there were any detailed submissions in that affidavit.

After the filing of the said PIL, the State drafted a Bill, namely, “Draft bill of The Rajasthan Advocate (Prevention of Offences and Damage of Loss to Property) Bill, 2021”. Considering the difficulty of advocates, particularly harassment, threat, or violence, the BCI also took initiative in the matter and a draft bill “Advocates (Protection) Bill, 2021” was finalized at the level of the BCI and was forwarded to the Government of India, Ministry of Law and Justice.

The High Court in the above context of this matter observed, “… the Bar Council of India through its Secretary be impleaded in this petition as Respondent No. 6. Amended Cause Title be also filed. Let notice be issued to the Bar Council of India through its Secretary. The notice to Bar Council of India is made returnable within two weeks.”

The Court directed the respondents to file a reply positively who were already represented through their respective counsel.

“In the meantime, learned Additional Advocate General will also apprise the Court regarding various steps taken at the level of the Executive”, the Court further directed.

Accordingly, the Court listed the matter next on March 20, 2023.

Cause Title- Prahlad Sharma v. The Union of India & Ors.

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