New Delhi: The Supreme Court today said
that complaints can be lodged to District Judges and Chief
Justices of High Courts against the members of the Bar for
forcing lawyers to withdraw themselves from defending the
accused in terror cases.
The apex court termed as a "law and order" problem the
practise of compelling the lawyers to dissociate themselves
from any cases including the terror-related cases by coercion
"This is a law and order problem. You can go for
redressal to District Judge who will forward your complaint to
the Chief Justice of a particular High Court for appropriate
action," a Bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and
Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar said.
The Bench was hearing a PIL filed in 2008 alleging that
State Bar Associations and other lawyers` bodies in Uttar
Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra have passed
resolutions that members of the bar would not defend the
accused in terror cases, particularly those involved in
serial blasts cases of 2006.
The Bench said the apex court cannot control the members
of the Bar in such type of situation and the best recourse
available was to approach the District Judge through a letter
bringing to his/her notice about such incidents.
"You can write to the Chief Justice of the High Court
and also the District Judge on the administrative side for
taking actions," the Bench said.
The Bar Council of India, which was asked to come out
with guidelines to stop such incidents, submitted its proposed
steps saying that the Chairman of the State Bar Council can
ask the advocates to desist from such action on receiving a
Further, in case the concerned advocate/advocates or any
Bar Association does not cease and desist from action, then
the issue would be referred to the Disciplinary Committee
of the respective state Bar association.
The state Bar council will have to forward the complaints
to the BCI.
Taking the proposed steps of BCI on record, the Bench
disposed of the petition.