The Bar Council of India Suspends 126 Protesting Advocates in Tamil Nadu

For the first time in the legal history of the nation, Bar Council of India has suspended 126 Tamil Nadu lawyers. The BCI action comes from announcement by JAC to sit-in at Madras High Court on July 25th, agitating against the revised Advocates Act. A warning notice to withdraw the boycotts by July 22nd was earlier issued by BCI, as it was seriously affecting the profession.

On Monday, the law leaders gathered at the Madras HC and started slogans of “Bar Council down down” and CJ Kaul down down.” The Joint Action Committee also announced that it would not allow any person, even judges to enter the court.

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The demand of the lawyers is resignation of the Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul from his post. P Thirumalairajan, chief coordinator of JAC and one of the 126 suspended TN lawyers by the BCI said that they have gathered for the protest to maintain peace, “patience and calm.” “Don’t fight with the police, don’t embarrass them… We are not fighting them.” He added that the protest is strong, and they will fight “tooth and nail.” Addressing the gathered lawyers, he said that the CJ of Madras had “become a mental patient.”

According to a press release, BCI chairperson Manan Kumar Mishra said that the suspended lawyers include the 21 prominent members of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) like Arivazhagan-Madras High Court Advocates Association secretary, Ms Nalini-Women Lawyers Association president and Chandan Bab-Egmore Bar Association president. Besides 126 now suspended lawyers, 44 were earlier suspended for misconduct.

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“For the last two months, most of the Bar Associations of the State of Tamil Nadu absented themselves from work and indulged in several kinds of unruly, indecent, arrogant activities which are most unbecoming of the conduct of an Advocate,” the council said. This is clearly a black day in the legal profession as government, legal fraternities and most of the public criticise this act.

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