CHENNAI: The Bar Council of India (BCI), the statutory body governing the legal profession, transferred disciplinary proceedings against eight Tamil Nadu advocates to the Bar Council of Karnataka, on Thursday.
The move came after one of the members of the State bar council’s disciplinary committee, Rajarajan, resigned claiming compulsions to decide the case in favour of suspended advocates.
The eight lawyers were suspended by the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu & Puducherry(BCTN&P) after they staged a protest, claiming that a CISF personnel in plain-clothes had videographed the frisking of a woman advocate by another woman personnel on November 26. The suspended advocates include Abdul Rahman, K Muthuramalingam and R J George Williams.The CISF had lodged a complaint with the BCTN&P on Wednesday.
The BCTN&P had formed a three-member disciplinary committee to hear the case. On Wednesday, Rajarajan complained to the council that pressure was brought upon him to sign orders lifting suspension of the eight advocates.
BCTN&P chairman D Selvam forwarded the resignation letter of Rajarajan, along with the complaint from CISF to the BCI in New Delhi. Reacting promptly, the BCI on Thursday transferred the disciplinary proceedings against the advocates to the Karnataka Bar Council, with a direction to constitute a committee to enquire into the charges.
As of today, 41 advocates have been suspended on various charges. The disciplinary proceedings of 13 advocates, who were suspended by the BCI in an unprecedented direct action, were also being conducted by the Karnataka Bar Council.
This is not the first time the BCI has asked the bar council of the neighbouring State to conduct disciplinary proceedings against Tamil Nadu advocates. When a group of advocates staged protests by entering the court hall of the Madras High Court’s first bench, the BCI similarly ordered the disciplinary proceedings be conducted by the Karnataka’s Bar Council. It was later transferred to the Tamil Nadu bar council after the State bar council promised an unbiased inquiry against the advocates.