HC bar council to wear badges to protest debarment of lawyers

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New Delhi, Aug 24 (UNI) The Delhi High Court Bar Association will wear white badges on their arm tomorrow to protest the High Court's verdict which has barred two senior lawyers from appearing in all courts for next four months.

Secretary of the Bar Association D K Sharma said, ''The bar resents the recent trend of the bench, which in the name of preserving sanctity of the institution, has unfairly started lowering the dignity of the legal profession by attacking the lawyers.'' ''The bar has always voiced its concern on lowering of standards of the institution of Justice,'' he added.

Mr Sharma said it had fearlessly protected the independence of judiciary whenever there was a attack on it but the recent trend of the courts to surpass their domain and take over the Bar Council's prerogative was undermining the legal fraternity.

To show its anguish, the Council would protest against the High Court's order till it is quashed, Mr Sharma said.

The association had categorically conveyed their concern to the Chief Justice of the High Court Justice and other judges that they were very sensitive about such issues where the lawyers alone and not the judges were made accountable for some misconduct, the Secretary said.

Senior lawyer R K Anand and I U Khan, were found guilty by the High Court for lowering the dignity of the court by bribing a witness in the sensational BMW hit-and-run case in which the prime accused, Sanjiv Nanda, had mowed down six people in January 1999.

After the lawyers were shown offering bribe to the witness, Sunil Kulkarni, in a sting operation, conducted by a private satellite channel, Justice Manmohan Sarin took suo mot cognizance of the matter and filed a case against the lawyers.

A bench headed by Justice Sarin in its judgement had barred the lawyers to appear in the High court and all subordinate courts for next four months.

The court had also recommended to strip off the designation of ''Senior Lawyer'' from their names.

The association was protesting against this decision stating that the courts cannot step into the domain of the Bar Council and pass such orders since the powers to ban any lawyer from appearing in the courts is vested with the Bar Council only, Mr Sharma said.

UNI SNG SW AS1629

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