CHENNAI: Can the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry frame charges against an advocate when a case is sub judice in the High Court on the same issue? Will not the council’s action in framing the charges be contempt of Court?
Raising these issues, advocate VK Sethukumar (63), with more than 35 years in the Bar, has moved the Madras High Court for a directive to the Advocate-General to allow initiating contempt proceedings against six disciplinary committee members of the TN Bar Council.
According to the advocate L Margaret, her client Sethukumar had a civil dispute with his landlord over eviction of his office premises in T Nagar. He lodged a complaint with the local police alleging illegal eviction.
As there was no action, he moved the Madras HC in 2011 for a directive to the T Nagar police to register a case on his complaint and proceed according to law. While the case was pending, the landlord lodged a complaint against him with the Bar Council of TN and the council framed three charges and constituted the disciplinary committee.
Contending that the action of the council was a contempt of court, Margaret applied for sanction from the AG to begin contempt proceedings against the disciplinary panel members. The AG by an order dated November 5 this year, refused sanction. Hence, the present petition to quash the rejection order and for a directive to the AG to give sanction, Margaret added. Justice MM Sundresh, before whom the writ petition came up on December 21, ordered that notices to the AG and the six disciplinary committee members, returnable in eight weeks.