Lawmakers can practise in courts, but with a rider: BCI

The Bar Council of India (BCI) today decided to allow members of Parliament and legislative assemblies to practise as advocates, but said that those who move an impeachment motion against any judge of the higher judiciary will not be allowed to appear before that court.
File Photo
File Photo

The Bar Council of India (BCI) today decided to allow members of Parliament and legislative assemblies to practise as advocates, but said that those who move an impeachment motion against any judge of the higher judiciary will not be allowed to appear before that court.

BCI Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra, a senior advocate, said that the decision was taken by the apex bar body to prevent the "misuse of powers" and "privileges" of a lawyer and not of a member of Parliament.

"The BCI has come to a final conclusion that we cannot stop or ban MPs from practising in the courts but there is an exception to it. The lawyer-MPs or MLAs, if they start any motion of impeachment or a removal proceeding against any high court or Supreme Court judge, they will not be allowed to practise in that particular court. This is the majority view of the council," Mishra told a press conference here.

Mishra said the council took the decision after considering the reply given by three of its members — senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Vivek Tankha and A M Singhvi, who are Rajya Sabha members.

"After considering their replies and the report of the committee, including the report of our co-chairman S Prabhakaran, who has dissented from the majority view, the BCI has come to a final conclusion that we cannot stop or ban MPs from practising in the courts but there is an exception to it. If the lawyer-MPs start any motion of impeachment or a removal proceeding against any high court or Supreme Court judge, they will not be allowed to practise in that court. This is the majority view of the council," he said. 

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