Law Commission of India submits Report No. 266, recommends comprehensive amendments in Advocates Act, 1961

The recent judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Mahipal Singh Rana v. State of UP, (2016) 8 SCC 335 : AIR 2016 SC 3302, directed the Law Commission of India to revisit the provisions relating to regulation of disciplinary control over lawyers under the Advocates Act and to recommend appropriate amendments so as to make the Act more comprehensive thereby facilitating Parliament to enact a law that would effectively empower the authorities for such effective regulation.

The Commission invited suggestions from all stakeholders by putting on its website a notice dated 22nd July, 2016, as to how the system could be improved. The attention of the Bar Council of India was drawn to the said notice by writing a letter on 3rd August, 2016. The Registrar General of all High Courts were addressed a similar email on 4th August, 2016. Simultaneously, an email was sent to all the State Bar Councils, Supreme Court Bar Association and Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association. The Chairman also addressed a letter to the Chief Justices of all the High Courts, requesting them to use their good offices to give wide publicity to the endeavour of the Commission amongst the various associations of Advocates’, with a request to send their response directly to the Commission by email at the earliest. A good number of responses were received. The Advisory Committee constituted by the BCI made comprehensive recommendations on various issues relating to the Advocates Act including strong measures to tackle the boycotts or abstention from work by the Advocates/ their Associations, matters related to the disciplinary committee, enhancement of penalty for persons illegally practicing in courts/other authorities, pre-enrolment training and apprentice for a period of one year and regulation of Law Firms and Foreign Lawyers.

In view of the above, the Law Commission of India submitted its Report No. 266 titled “The Advocates Act, 1961 (Regulation of Legal Profession)”, to the Central Government for its consideration on 23.03.2017. In Chapter XVII of the Report the Law Commission has emphasized the need of reviewing Regulatory Mechanism and Regulatory bodies etc., and recommended comprehensive amendments in the Advocates Act. The Commission also annexed the Advocate (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to its Report.

Law Commission of India

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