In the wake of recent reports from different parts of the country about attacks on lawyers, the Bar Council of India (BCI) has formed a seven-member committee to draft a bill on the protection of lawyers. According to a letter issued on 12 June, the bill would be aimed at ensuring adequate protection for members of the legal fraternity so that they can carry out their duties as court officials, without fear, without having to worry about their safety and their own. family.
The decision to set up the committee for the drafting of this law was taken at the meeting on 10 June, when the General Council of the BCI deliberated on the matter. The resolution was approved bearing in mind that "there has been a further increase in attacks on lawyers”. “Only recently have we witnessed a heinous and barbaric daylight murder incident of the lawyer couple (Gattu Vaman Rao and his wife P. V. Nagamani) in Telangana," the BCI further noted.
Members now tasked with drafting the bill intended to ensure the protection of lawyers from such attacks include:
· Senior Advocate S Prabakaran, Vice President, Bar Council of India;
· Senior Advocate Debi Prasad Dhal, Executive Chairman, Bar Council of India Trust;
·Attorney Suresh Chandra Shrimali, co-chair, Council of Lawyers of India;
· lawyer Shailendra Dubey, member of the Council of the Bar of India;
· Attorney A Rami Reddy, Executive Vice President, Bar Council of India Trust;
· Attorney Shreenath Tripathi, Member, Bar Council of India; is
· Attorney Prashant Kumar Singh, Member, Bar Council of India.
At its meeting on 10 June, the BCI expressed deep concern over the "frequent and often violent physical attacks on members of the Fraternity of Advocates”. “It has been discussed and deliberated with anguish that it is extremely distressing to see that while it is the Confraternity of Lawyers that does justice to the citizens of the country; and for this reason, they have to file and discuss cases most of the time against the feared antisocial and criminal elements, but the lawyers themselves are left without even the slightest adequate protection against such elements. As a result of such cases, lawyers are often the recipients/targets of such criminal and antisocial elements, "the resolution said on June 10 further.
The attack on a lawyer, Ram Sharma in Jaipur, was also highlighted, whereby his lawyer and wife were allegedly inflicted on serious injuries by criminals in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The BCI decided to write to the Rajasthan Police Director-General to take immediate action to arrest the perpetrators and conduct a fair and swift investigation into the case. Furthermore, the BCI has also intimated that it will write to the Prime Minister of Rajasthan to ensure the protection of lawyers in the state.
A public interest (PIL) litigation petition filed by a lawyer based in Karnataka against a death in custody in the police station and some other cases against ruling party leaders in Telangana were also noted. “The horrific incident took us back to the days of anarchy, lawlessness, and goonda raj. Such incidents are examples of serious threats and attacks on the independence of the bar association," noted the BCI.
The BCI went on to say that the time has come for central and state governments to address the issue with sincerity, failing which the country's supporters should resort to national agitation. In this context, the BCI has appointed seven of its members to take the first steps towards drafting the law on the protection of the attorney.