KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Thursday stayed for one month operation of the ‘Certificate and Place of Practice (Verification) Rules - 2015’, framed by Bar Council of India (BCI).
Justice K Vinod Chandran issued the order on a petition filed by High Court lawyer L Mohanan, seeking to declare that the Rules were unconstitutional and liable to be declared void.
The BCI issued the new Rules without legal authority. It cannot insist on such certificate or collect fee for it. The circular was made in violation of provisions of the Advocates’ Act.
The petitioner submitted that there was a patent discrimination in the issuance of the ‘certificate of practice’. It is not required to be obtained by advocates enrolled after the year 2010, but only by advocates enrolled prior to that year. Persons who have been practicing for years together, including the many who have completed 50 years of practice, are now required to obtain verification. Meanwhile, advocates enrolled after 2010 are not required to get such a certificate. It also criticised the utilisation of funds by the Bar Council. “It is common knowledge that the funds of the Bar Council, both from the Centre and State, are expended indiscriminately in a lavish manner, and were not even audited as required in law.
Entrusting such a body with the huge amount collected from advocates enrolled in the country is an unwholesome method, in view of the notoriety gained by bar councils for extravagant spending,” the petitioner submitted.