Rajasthan High Court: Exercising its civil writ jurisdiction, the division bench of Manindra Mohan Shrivastava, Acting C.J., and Anil Kumar Upman J., sought reply and suggestions from the Union Government, the State Government and Bar Council of India (‘BCI’) in relation to the protection of advocates from violence, harassment, and threats.
The issue for consideration before the bench was regarding framing of appropriate legislation for protection of advocates which was pending since the year 2020.
In the matter at hand, a recent incident of murder of a lawyer in the State had led to a widespread agitation and the petitioner had urged the Court to consider issuance of some guidelines till appropriate legislation was framed, however, the respondents had not filed an appropriate reply.
The State had drafted a bill namely, “Draft bill of the Rajasthan Advocate (Prevention of Offences and Damage of Loss to Property) Bill, 2021” after filing of the petition. However, the Additional Advocate General (‘AAG’) had assured that the current issue was going to be considered at the top of the executive level within a very short period.
The Court noted the difficulty of advocates, particularly harassment, threat or violence during the course of discharging their duties as an Officer of the Court and stated that BCI had finalised the draft of the “Advocates (Protection) Bill, 2021” at the level of BCI which was accordingly forwarded to the Union, Ministry of Law and Justice.
The Court observed that the even though the grievance of the Members of the Bar was taken up for consideration at different level but till date no legislation has been framed.
The Court sought assistant of BCI and directed to implead its Secretary in the present petition and accordingly issued notice to BCI who may come up with appropriate suggestions in the matter towards framing of guidelines.
The Court directed the respondents to file an appropriate reply and asked the AAG to apprise the Court regarding various steps taken at the Executive level.
Matter adjourned for the next hearing on 20-03-2023.
[Prahlad Sharma v Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine Raj 400, decided on 02-03-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For the petitioner- Advocate Abhinav Sharma;
For the respondents- Additional Solicitor General R.D. Rastogi, Advocate C.S. Sinha, Additional Advocate General R.P. Singh, Advocate Jaivardhan Singh Shekhawat, Advocate C.L. Saini, Advocate Gauri Jasana and Advocate Shubham Bhati.