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Lawmakers Supporting Impeachment Motion Cannot Practice In That Court: Bar Council of India

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 1
1099
| April 1 , 2018 , 12:28 IST

Allowing members of Parliament and legislative assemblies to practice as advocates, the Bar Council of India (BCI) on Saturday stipulated that those lawyers moving an impeachment motion against any judge of the higher judiciary will not be allowed to appear before that particular court.

Senior advocate and BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said that the decision had been taken by the apex bar body so as to prevent the "misuse of powers" and "privileges" of a lawyer and not of a member of Parliament.

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"The BCI has come to a final conclusion that we cannot stop or ban MPs from practising in the courts but there is an exception to it. The lawyer-MPs or MLAs, if they start any motion of impeachment or a removal proceeding against any high court or Supreme Court judge, they will not be allowed to practise in that particular court. This is the majority view of the council," Mishra said to media.

The Supreme Court on March 12 had sought the response of the Bar Council of India to a plea Delhi BJP spokesperson Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, regarding a ban on lawmakers from practicing as advocates.

Mishra, in his statement to the media, said that the Bar Council took the decision regarding the petition after considering the reply given by 3 of its members senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Vivek Tankha and A M Singhvi, who are also Rajya Sabha members.

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"After considering their replies and the report of the committee, including the report of our co-chairman S Prabhakaran, who has dissented from the majority view, the BCI has come to a final conclusion that we cannot stop or ban MPs from practising in the courts but there is an exception to it. If the lawyer-MPs start any motion of impeachment or a removal proceeding against any high court or Supreme Court judge, they will not be allowed to practise in that court. This is the majority view of the council," he said.

"In order to prevent the misuse of the powers and privileges of a lawyer, not of an MP, we have put this condition that if any lawyer-MP starts any impeachment motion or participates in the impeachment motion, he cannot practise in that court," Mishra said.

The decision would likely affect Opposition lawyers supporting the Congress-led petition calling for an impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, due to allegations of 4 senior Justices of the Supreme Court that CJI Misra was abusing his powers as master of roster.