BCI withdraws suspension of TN lawyers

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Chennai, Aug 22: The Bar Council of India has withdrawn the suspension of 126 Tamil Nadu lawyers, including leaders of various bar associations, who faced the action over their protest against amendments to the Advocates Act.

The decision was taken considering a letter written by Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (BCTP) to BCI Chairman Mannan Kumar Mishra about resumption of work by the lawyers subsequent to temporary withdrawal of their more than three-month-long protest.

Tamil Nadu

This was stated in a communication sent by the BCI Chairman and Joint Secretary Ashok Kumar Pandey to BCTP Chairman D Selvam, BTCP sources said today. The BCI had on July 24 suspended the lawyers and prohibited them from practising in any court or tribunal in the country for spearheading the protest against amendments to the disciplinary rules under the Advocates Act.

However, later it had stayed till today the suspension after the agitating lawyers announced temporary withdrawal of their stir on August 14. BCI had then directed BCTP to file a report with regard to attendance of lawyers in the courts.

In this backdrop, BCTP wrote to the Chairman of BCI informing him about resumption of work by the lawyers. The BCI made it clear that the suspension would not be treated as misconduct on the part of suspended lawyers for any performance in future and it shall not adversely affect their career in anyway. The lawyers have been opposing a notification issued by the Madras High Court in May last making amendments to existing rules under the Advocates Act with a view to ensure peaceful conduct of court proceedings and suggesting disciplinary action to be taken against erring advocates.

The court later constituted a judges' committee to look into the grievances of the lawyers and repeatedly urged the lawyers to give up their agitation and approach the panel. It had also made it clear that practically the rules were already in abeyance for the time being in view of a Full Court's assurance that no action would be taken under the rules till they were reviewed.

PTI

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