CHENNAI: Justice S Vaidyanathan of the Madras High Court has suspended the operation of his own order dated November 21 last, which made certain prescriptions to weed out fake lawyers from practising, till January 22.
As members of various bar associations sought time to come up with suggestions to weed out fake lawyers who are practising and they have agreed to abide by the conditions that were to originally come into force from January 2, till the issue is resolved, without going into the aspect of Section 362 CrPC for now, the order dated November 21 last passed on a criminal original petition has been suspended till January 22, the judge said.
Among other things, the November 21 order had stipulated that vakalath/memo of appearance shall be filed along with clear photo identity cards of the advocates-on-record. Lawyers, who do not have photo ID cards, shall obtain the same from the Bar Council, without which, it shall not be entertained (This condition pertains only to those Vakalats filed from January 2). Attesting advocates shall also file proof of ID to enable the advocate-on-record to file it along with the vakalat/memo of appearance. In addition to the residential address, it is open to the advocates-on-record as well as the attesting advocates to furnish their office address.
Petitions in criminal cases can be filed in the form of a petition. All the petitions filed before the criminal court shall be duly signed by the advocate-on-record, on all pages together with enrolment Number. The courts below are entitled to cross-check proof produced, if they suspect the same. Whenever the ID card is demanded for verification by any court/registry, the same shall be produced by the advocates. The judge made it clear that as and when lawyers request for issue of fresh ID cards, the Bar Council shall verify their antecedents and issue the same within 10 working days.
Aggrieved, members of various bar associations raised objections. Representing MHAA, advocate P V S Giridhar, requested recall of the November 21 order. This plea will be considered only after Pongal holidays, the judge said and listed the matter for hearing on January 22.
The judge hoped that the Bar members will come up with effective suggestions, without prolonging the matter further. The judge also clarified that if any litigant does not want to continue with the counsel, who has filed memo of appearance/vakalat, the case bundle shall be immediately handed over to the client without insisting payment for return of the bundle.