The Bar Council of India (BCI) has requested all the Secretaries of the State Bar Councils to submit a report on the incident where Advocates have been attacked by criminals or any threat has been given to the Advocates in their respective States.

The letter dated April 6, 2023, written by the Joint Secretary of the BCI says, “I would like to bring kind notice that the Bar Council of India has already send The draft of Advocates (Protection Bill,2021) to the Government of India with a request to pass the Bill which will be insure Advocate Protection to the Members of Legal fraternity, so that they can carry on their duties as officers of the court, fearlessly without having to worry about their and their family's social and physical safety.”

It further stated that one Pradyuman Bishit has filed a Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 99/2015 titled Pradyuman Bisht v. Union of India & Ors. seeking direction to issue appropriate guidelines for security majors across the country at all Court premises viz. District/Trial Courts, High Courts of the country and to replace the present security system with the dedicated/ special security system that is dedicated to protect and provide full-scale security to all the persons related to the Courts and Tribunals including the litigants and the witnesses.

“The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India after hearing the party allowed the request of Bar Council of India filing an Affidavit comprehensively containing a list of incidents, which caused concern among the advocates in various parts of the country”, it says.

The BCI has therefore requested all the State Bar Councils to submit details of incidents of attack on the Advocates or threats given to the Advocates mentioning their names, date of incident etc., before the next date of hearing so that it can file an affidavit before the Supreme Court.

The Bar Council of Delhi had in its meeting held on April 6, 2023, deliberated on Advocates Protection Act, to be enacted by the Government of NCT of Delhi on a priority basis, since, according to it, the Advocates are being attacked within and outside the court premises.

Its press release dated April 6, 2023 says, “All the members on realising the ground realities and the situation were in favour of bringing Advocates Protection Act for advocates practicing in Delhi and NCR, enrolled with Bar Council of Delhi, on urgent basis. For this purpose, the Council unanimously constituted a Special Committee to draft a comprehensive Advocates Protection Act, to ensure that the same is enacted by the Government of NCT of Delhi.”

The Delhi Bar Council has, therefore, constituted a Special Committee headed by Mr. K.C. Mittal, Former Chairman of Bar Council of Delhi, and the members of the Special Committee (Advocate Protection Act).

“All the Hon'ble members of Bar Council of Delhi and the office bearers of Coordination Committee of Bar Associations are requested to give their input”, it stated.

Earlier, the Supreme Court Advocates-On-Record Association (SCAORA) condemned the brutal attack on the late Advocate Virender Kumar Narwal who was practicing in New Delhi, which lead to his death and demanded law for the protection of Advocates. The Executive Committee of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), had also condemned the said brutal attack and demanded the enactment of a law for the protection of Advocates.

Earlier this month, the State Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana sent two drafts of the Punjab Advocates (Protection) Bill 2023 and Haryana Advocates (Protection) Bill 2023 to both the States of Punjab and Haryana demanding the enactment of the same at the earliest. It warned of initiating peaceful protest by participating in a state-wide agitation if adequate steps are not taken for the same.

In March of this year, Rajasthan became the first State in the country to pass a law for the protection of Advocates. The Rajasthan State Legislature passed the Rajasthan Advocates Protection Bill, 2023 after it was tabled in the assembly, by voice vote.

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