New Delhi: A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to Jammu and Kashmir and others for holding elections for the Bar Council in the state to remove discrimination against local lawyers.
The Advocates Act, 1961, which has been made applicable to Jammu and Kashmir in 1986, provides for Constitution of the State Bar Council, the petition filed by Bhim Singh, senior advocate and leader of J&K National Panthers Party, said.
"The Bar Council of J&K, though, forms part of the Bar Council of India (BCI), yet there is no elected body of lawyers in the state of J&K," the PIL said, adding since 1986, the state Bar Council has been headed by the Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir with other HC judges as members.
"This amounts to discrimination with the lawyers` fraternity in the state of J&K and denial of their constitutional rights guaranteed to them by the Advocates Act, 1961 which was extended to the state in 1986," it said.
The elected bar councils have been functioning in every state for half a century and BCI represents the entire advocates fraternity of the country except Jammu and Kashmir, the PIL said.
Besides the state government, it has also sought a direction to the Chief Justice of the High Court and the BCI Chairman to frame rules under the Advocates Act and hold election of the state Bar Council as is being done in other states.