Advocates Protection Bill, 2021: BCI Calls For Suggestions – LITEM

The Bar Council of India has released a press on 2nd July 2021 stating about the completion of the Draft on the Advocates Protection Bill. Earlier a 7-member committee was constituted on 10.06.2021 to draft the Advocates Protection Bill. The committee has furnished it’s report to the Council and the Council had decided for it’s circulation to all the Bar Councils, High Court Bar Associations and Supreme Court Bar Association and also to all others Bars of the country. However an Email ID and a deadline is also provided for all the stakeholders. They are requested to provide their inputs, if any, within a week of the notification release i.e. before 9th July 2021 to advprotectionbill.bci@gmail.com

What is the Advocate Protection Bill, 2021?

The Advocate Protection Bill was introduced in response to a recent spike in incidents of violence, kidnappings, intimidation, and repeated threats against advocates. When the security of lawyers is compromised as a result of their work, the government must provide necessary protection. Such a measure is required to protect advocates. It further provides that advocates must be provided with social security and the bare necessities of life.

The objective of the Advocate Protection Bill is to ensure protection of advocates and their family. It aimed to provide adequate protection to the members of the legal fraternity so that they can carry their duties of the court fearlessly, without having to worry about himself/herself and their family’s safety. The Bill may be called the Advocates (Protection) Bill, 2021. It extends to the whole of India.

What Penalties For Violating the Bill?

The Advocates Act of 1961 defines punishment and compensation in sections 3 and 4. Punishments can range from six months to five years, with a maximum of ten years for repeat offences. Fines range from Rs.50,000 to Rs.1 lakh for the first offence, while fines for successive offences can reach Rs.10 lakhs. The bill also gives the court the authority to compensate advocates for wrongs done to them.

Who Drafted this Bill?

The seven member committee who was constituted to draft the bill consist of the following members:

  • Mr. S. Prabakaran, Sr. Advocate, Vice-Chairman, Bar Council of India; 
  • Mr. Debi Prasad Dhal, Sr. Advocate, Executive Chairman, Bar Council of India Trust; 
  • Mr. Suresh Chandra Shrimali, Co-Chairman, Bar Council of India; 
  • Mr. Shailendra Dubey, Member, Bar Council of India; 
  • Mr. A. Rami Reddy, Executive Vice-Chairman, Bar Council of India Trust; 
  • Mr. Shreenath Tripathi, Member, Bar Council of India; and 
  • Mr. Prashant Kumar Singh, Member, Bar Council of India.

{There are certain facts that need to be highlighted. The committee did not include a single female advocate. The Dalit, Bahujan, and Adivasi communities were similarly underrepresented on the committee.}

The objective of the Bill is to ensure greater protection of advocates and their functions in discharge of their professional duties. The Bill not only proposes to protect advocates from incidents of assaults and intimidation, but also aims at establishing a system for their social security.

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