Lawyers may abstain from work tomorrow, HC asks them not to

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Lawyers may abstain from work tomorrow, HC asks them not to

Mumbai, Mar 30 (PTI) Over 5,000 lawyers in Maharashtra and Goa have decided to abstain from work tomorrow, in response to a call given by the Bar Council of India, to protest against the proposed Advocates Amendment Bill, 2017.

Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court, while hearing two petitions filed by lawyers today urged the advocates to honour their responsibility and make sure that they do not abstain from work.

The petitions, filed by Manoj Shirsat and another lawyer, had challenged the resolution passed by the Bar Council of India, which asked lawyers to abstain from work.

They cited a Supreme Court judgement, which said that lawyers should not go on strike or protest or abstain from work.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Dr Manjula Chellur, while disposing of the petitions, said lawyers were responsible professionals and hoped that they would not abstain from work.

Meanwhile, the general body of Advocates Association of Western India (AAWI), the oldest and largest body of lawyers, today decided to support the BCI’s call to the lawyers to abstain from work.

The general body of AAWI said in a resolution that it was of the opinion that the amendments proposed in the Advocates Act are “unconstitutional, undemocratic, anti-lawyers and against the interests of the general public”.

“The entire legal profession and legal education of the country is in danger because of the proposed bill,” the resolution said.

“The regulation and control of legal profession and legal education is proposed to be handed over to non-advocates and lawyers would face disciplinary proceedings before people not linked to legal profession,” AAWI resolution said.

“Moreover, in Bar Council of India, persons from other professions, like chartered accountants, architects, doctors, politicians, etc would dominate and this would take away autonomy, independence and transparency of the council,” the AAWI resolution added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.