Justice N Kirubakaran also gave 14 directions to the Union of India and the Bar Council of India while passing an interim order on a criminal original petition by one S M Anantha Murugan seeking a direction to prevent intrusion of persons having criminal antecedents without studying Bachelor of Law Degree.
14 directions to the Union of India and the Bar Council of India
1) Union of India is to consider revisiting of provisions of the Advocates Act including Section 24A of the Advocates’ Act, or introduce a new Section prohibiting persons with pending cases or criminals entering into legal profession at the earliest considering continuing entry of criminals, communal and extremist elements at the earliest.
2) Bar Council of India shall direct the State Bar Councils to get antecedents verification of all law graduates compulsorily, from their native place as well as from the place of study, from the police for enrolment.
3) Bar Council of India shall direct the State Bar Councils not to enrol any law graduate with pending criminal cases except bailable cases attracting punishment upto three years and compoundable offences involving matrimonial, family and civil disputes, till the changes are brought in The Advocates’ Act & Bar Council of India Rules.
4) Bar Council of India shall direct State Bar Councils
a) To grant only conditional/provisional enrolment to law graduates, who are having criminal cases involving bailable offences attracting punishment upto 3 years and compoundable offences including matrimonial, family and civil disputes and to open a separate file/register for this specific purpose which shall contain the number of the case, offences involved, name of the police station, and the Court, who shall communicate to the respective State Bar Council about the disposal of the case enclosing a certified copy of the judgement;
(b) To revoke provisional enrolment of the law graduates on conviction after issuing show notice unless the setting aside of conviction is informed to the Bar Council with a certified copy of the judgement.
(c) Bar Council of India shall direct all law institutions not to admit candidates with criminal cases except minor offences viz., offences attracting punishment upto 3 years and compoundable offences including matrimonial, family and civil disputes and on acquittal.
5) Bar Council of India shall direct the State Bar Councils not to enrol any law graduate, who had already suffered conviction in any criminal case.
6) Bar Council vof India shall direct the State Bar Councils not to enrol any person, who have been dismissed or removed from service or left the services consequent to departmental/inhouse proceedings.
7) Bar Council of India shall direct all law colleges to get police verification certificates compulsorily before admitting the candidates to the law degree course.
8) Union of India shall direct all the States to send police antecedent verification certificate within three weeks from the date of receipt of the request made by respective State Bar Councils.
9) Union of India is directed to implement the recommendation of the Hon’ble Supreme court with regard to introduction of pre-enrolment training (Apprenticeship) to law graduates as per para 31 of the decision in V.Sudeer Vs.Bar Council of India reported in 1999 (3) SCC 176, as the recommendation has not been considered even after 16 years of the judgement.
10) Union of India is to consider positively, within six months, to entrust the functions of the Bar Council of India to an expert body, headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge permanently or till The Advocates’ Act and the Bar Council Rules are revisited, nominating Academicians, Legal Luminaries, prominent social workers, retired I.A.S Officers , police officers and Doctors as members as the electoral system followed by Bar Council failed to elect appropriate persons as members of Bar Council resulting in making the Council incapable of handling issues properly.
11) Bar Council of India shall not conduct the next Bar Council election, after expiry of the present term in 2016, without prescribing minimum qualification like 20 years standing in the Bar or a Senior counsel, who does not have any criminal case or criminal background for the candidates to contest Bar Council elections and till the verification of advocates is done as per “Bar Council of India Certificate and Place of practice (Verification) Rules 2015, by entrusting the functions to an expert body.
12) Bar Council of India shall reduce the number of seats in law colleges drastically and the number of law colleges, as the population of advocates is increasing enormously year after year.
13) Bar Council of India is to abolish three year Law Degree Course at the earliest and retain only five year Law Degree Course on par with other Professional Courses like Medicine and Engineering, to make the course as a serious one and;
14) Bar Council of India shall direct the State Bar Councils to withdraw them recognition/approval given to various Bar/Advocates Associations for the past 20 years maintaining one Court-one Bar Association except older associations.