CHENNAI: Over 30 per cent of all of India’s lawyers are fake or non-practising persons who misuse their certificates of practice, declared the Bar Council of India’s Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra on Saturday.
Mishra’s statement comes hardly three months after the State Bar Council unearthed a massive fake law degree racket and a death in the Egmore court premises was tied to a massive invasion of such fake lawyers. In the address, Mishra took a no-holds-barred approach, lashing out at the “irresponsible and nasty” elements in the fraternity. He termed fake lawyers a “serious threat” and the reason why any constructive decision on checking rampant court boycotts could not be taken.
The issue is one that has already occupied headlines on and off for years on end. Just three months ago, a PMK party women wing functionary, who herself was holding a forged law degree certificate, was found to be operating a State-wide fake law degree certificate racket, using which many had managed to enroll in the State Bar Council. Perhaps the worst case was a set of fake “courts” run by lawyers in Coimbatore under guise of arbitration tribunals. They were recently barred from practice.
When the Bar Council chief put a figure of “30 per cent” on the number of fake lawyers (who he said are either fake, non-practising or abusing their status), it only reiterated what was being felt. In April, a man was arrested by the HC police for usurping litigants posing as an advocate.
Recently, a practising woman lawyer in the High Court found that the man she married, who she believed was a lawyer, was actually holding a fake degree certificate. “Strikes on petty, frivolous issues have become a regular phenomenon due to this... We cannot tolerate the presence of irresponsible, nasty elements in the bar anymore,” Mishra said.