The High Court of Rajasthan has issued notice to the Union of India, state government and the Bar Council of India (BCI) regarding formulation of guidelines for the protection of Advocates from violence, harassment and threats
The Bench of Acting Chief Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava and Justice Anil Kumar Upman passed the order recently on a petition seeking appropriate legislation for the protection of advocates, which has been pending since 2020.
The High Court further took note of the recent murder of a lawyer in the state, which had led to widespread agitation.
The Bench observed that after the petition was filed in 2020, the state had drafted a Bill to address the protection of advocates. It was apprised by the Additional Advocate General that the matter was going to be considered at the top executive level soon.
The Court was apprised that after considering the problems faced by the advocates, particularly harassment, threat or violence while discharging their duties as officers of the Court, BCI had framed a Bill over the matter, which was forwarded to the Union Law Ministry.
Though the grievances of Bar members had been taken up for consideration at different levels, no legislation had come so far, the Court observed.
The Counsel appearing for the petitioner requested the High Court to issue guidelines till an appropriate legislation was framed by the legislature.
The Bench then sought response from the government authorities, both at the State and Central level, as well as the BCI and Rajasthan Bar Council on this aspect. BCI was impleaded as an additional respondent in the matter and issued notice returnable in two weeks.
Observing that the respondent-authorities had not filed sufficient replies in the case, the Court directed them to file their reply positively by the next hearing, which was fixed at March 20.
The Bench noted that the steps contemplated in future on part of the respondents would become clear only by their replies.