CHENNAI: THE issue relating to the amendments to Advocates Act, 1961, took an interesting turn on Monday with five of the 25 members of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (BCTNP) seeking to bring a no-confidence motion against its chairman D Selvam and Bar Council of India co-chairman S Prabakaran, on Monday.
In two separate signed representations dated June 13, addressed to the chairman, the five members — M Varadhan, N Sampath, K Ranganathan, V Karthikeyan and K Chandramohan, the former chairman of the council — submitted that they have lost confidence in Selvam’s leadership as his activities were contrary to the interest and welfare of lawyers and hence his continuance in the post of chairman would be highly detrimental to the advocate community.
BCTNP chairman Selvam announced last week that the council would take penal action against those advocates who resorted to any agitation, including boycott of courts, to protest the amendments made to the Advocates Act, despite the offer to reconsider the rules.
According to the representation, Selvam had failed to inform the members about his participation in the meetings of the Rules Committee of the High Court, which had amended the Advocates Act. He did not collect the views of the other members of the council and from the Bar associations/ advocates associations of the districts. And above all, “We are of the honest opinion that your attitude and approach has only forced the legal fraternity in the State and Puducherry to indulge in the agitations for raising objections regarding the amendments,’’ they alleged and requested Selvam to include this issue in the agenda of the meeting to be held on June 18.
The charge against Prabakaran, among other things, was that as president of the MHAA, he had vehemently protested the amendments when they were introduced by the HC in 2004 and indulged in boycott of courts, held rallies and dharnas, as a result of which a contempt petition had been filed against him before the SC. However, for reasons best known to him, he has now taken an U-turn and supported the amendments by writing articles in an English daily and by participating in TV debates. “We expect that as a member elected by us to the BCI in Delhi, you should have tried to defuse the situation, but instead you have aggravated and worsened it by your overt and covert acts,’’ the representation charged Prabakaran.