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Bar Council Bars Alcohol, Tobacco from Court Campuses

A disciplinary committee of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry has barred ‘bars’ from the court premises.

Published: 15th April 2016 05:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th April 2016 05:21 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: A disciplinary committee of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry has barred ‘bars’ from the court premises.

All advocates are duty-bound to maintain the decorum of the court. The ban is applicable not only to the High Court campus but also to the campuses of all courts and chambers in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, the committee has observed and recommended to the Council to issue a circular in this connection.

The court campuses are meant only for the free movement of advocates, litigant public, court staff and judicial officers during working hours and they are places of worship and the lawyers are duty-bound to keep them as divine places. They are watchdogs of court campuses. They should not bring alcohol and consume it, smoke and use tobacco products and other prohibited items inside the court campus, the committee said.

“By following the facts and circumstances of the case as well as the decisions rendered by the courts, this committee is of the view that the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry may issue circulars to all recognised Bar Associations in the State to maintain the court campuses, including the premises of Bar Associations and chambers free from alcohol, smoking, tobacco and other prohibited drug items, forthwith. We hope and trust that the entire legal fraternity in the State would follow the principles of professional ethics,’’ the three-member committee headed by G Thalaimutharasu said last week.

The committee was passing orders on a suo-motu complaint against three young lawyers – E Murugan, D Vijay and C Vijay – who were found consuming liquor on the Madras High Court premises on October 14 last year. And by orders dated November 23, they were suspended from practising as advocates, pending disciplinary proceedings. And accepting the unconditional apologies, and considering the age and the future of the trio, the committee lifted the ban on them after making the observations and suggesting issuance of circulars.

Similarly, another committee, headed by R Arunachalam, revoked the suspension order against advocate P Umasankar, who was suspended by a resolution dated November 16, 2015 of the Bar Council for his misconduct of raising slogans and attempting to barge into a court hall, which was hearing the suo-motu contemt petition against two Madurai-based advocates, on September 16, last year. Accepting his unconditional apology and treating the period of suspension for nearly five months as the punishment, the committee revoked the suspension order.

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