The Supreme Court in a matter related to delay in coming up with a concrete plan for preventing lawyers in States from going on strikes has recently told the Bar Council of India to strengthen the rules of professional etiquette.

The Court was hearing a contempt petition filed by the NGO named Common Cause over an alleged violation of its order against the strikes by the lawyers.

The two-Judge Bench comprising Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Bela M. Trivedi said, “Learned counsel appearing for the Bar Council of India prays for yet further time to complete all his instructions as also to advice appropriately. List these matters on 16.03.2023.”

Advocate Prashant Bhushan appeared for the petitioner while Advocate Ardhendumauli Kumar Prasad represented the BCI.

The Apex Court has been asking the BCI quite many times to submit a concrete proposal about putting an end to agitations by lawyers.

The Court after being upset over an agitation by lawyers in Odisha's Sambalpur last year had warned of dispatching central forces to tackle the situation in case the local police failed to bring things under control.

Earlier, the protesting lawyers forcibly entered the chambers of a District Judge and other judicial officers and were seeking a High Court bench in western Odisha.

The Supreme Court, therefore, asked the BCI to take action and suspend the licences of the agitating lawyers.

"For how long will the deliberations go on? If the Bar Council of India can't expedite the things which are needed to be done by itself, who else will do it? We need specific, concrete preventive measures. This is not a process that we can allow at your own leisurely pace", the Court had said.

It was orally observed by Justice Bela M. Trivedi that all State Bar Councils and Bar Associations are already sensitised but they don't want to follow the rules.

The Bench said to the BCI, “You need to strengthen the rules of professional etiquette. It appears you are not doing need to take it seriously.”

Accordingly, the Apex Court posted the matter for hearing on March 16.

Cause Title- Common Cause v. Abhijat & Ors.

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