January 28: The Supreme Court Division Bench comprising of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Vineet Saran in a ruling today strikes down the set of Discplinary Rules framed by Madras High Court for Advocates.
The Disciplinary Rules were challenged in Supreme Court by advocate R Muthukrishnan.
The Disciplinary rules framed by a committee of judges, were such that an advocate could be disbarred if the advocate seems to be in a position to interrupt the justice process.
As per the rules, if an Advocate is found to have accepted money from anyone in the name of a Judge or on the pretext of influencing him or if an Advocate is caught to have tampered with the Court record or Court order.
The rules further provide ground for disciplinary action if an Advocate is found doing browbeating or abusing a Judge or Judicial Officer.
Disciplinary action can also be taken against those Advocates who are found involved in an unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations/petitions against a Judicial Officer or a Judge to the Superior Court.
Rules also provide for disciplinary action against the Advocate who actively participates in a procession inside the Court campus and/or found involved in gherao inside the Court Hall or holds placard inside the Court Hall.
The Rules made it obvious that if an Advocate appears in the Court under the influence of liquor, he/she shall be debarred from appearing before the High Court or Subordinate Courts on the permanent basis or for specific period of time, as the Court may think fit and the Registrar General shall thereupon report the said fact to the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu.
However, the aforesaid rules were framed in 2016 as per the directives issued by the Supreme Court in the 2009 case of RK Anand v Registrar, Delhi High Court. In the verdict, the Court directed to re-affirm the power of the court in order to discipline advocates so that the proceedings in the courts may be carried out and dignity of the court is maintained.
The Rules framed led to amendments in the Advocate’s Act, 1961 as new rules 14A, 14B, 14C and 14D had been added to the existing Rules and the same was notified through a circular issued by the High Court Registrar on May 20, 2016, concerning with the dignity and orderly functioning of the Court.