The decision of the Bar Council of India to suspend the practise of advocates for defaulting payment of subscription dues of welfare fund has been challenged in the Supreme Court.
Advocate Welfare Committee of Bar Council of India took this decision to suspend the practice of 5970 advocates on the rolls of Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in a meeting held last Friday The notification in this regard read as follows:
It is hereby informed that the Advocates Welfare (BCI) Committee has suspended the right of practice of 5,970 advocates in any court, tribunal or other authority till the payment of subscription under Rule 40, Part VI Chapter II of the Bar Council of India Rules vide Resolution No 242/2019 dated March 22.”
The petition filed by Advocate Sabarish Subramanian states that no prior notice was served on the advocates before suspending their practice. The decision is applicable to advocates who are enrolled before 1993.The Bar Council used to collect the Advocate welfare fund once in 3 year from the advocates who enrolled before 1993. However, this rule was changed and from 1994 welfare fund subscription was collected along with the enrollment fees as one time affair at the time of enrollment.
The petition therefore states that the decision will affect the practise of advocates who have standing of 25 years and above. Many of them have well established practise by now, and the sudden suspension will lead to grave hardship and prejudice, the petitioner says. He points out that as a result of this decision, these advocates will not be able to appear in Courts and Tribunals from today.
“It is respectfully submitted that at the time of State Bar Council and Bar Council of India Election the member of Bar Council uses all latest technologies to reach out each members of the Bar to canvass their votes. However, to suspend 5970 advocates the State Bar Council and Bar Council of India not take any necessary steps to serve the warning notice to the concern advocates who defaulted their payment of Advocates welfare fund”, states the petition.