[Comment] Advocate on I-card: loss of professional ethics by Ashutosh Kumar

 A good lawyer has all the potential to become a good judge. Recently a representation made by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay to the hon’ble chief justice of India regarding the memorandum of procedure talks about in-house problem and issues of appointment of judges, in addition, it has a lot of reform for the practicing advocate based on the idea that a good advocate can be transformed into good judges. But fundamental lacuna starts from the legal education and its recognition in India. At present more than two thousand law colleges are functioning under the recognition of bar council of India which produces thousands of law graduate every year. This means thousands of registration for enrolling as an advocate but real data is missing as none of the state bar council have data- base of practicing advocates which produce thousands of law graduate every year. this means thousands of registration for enrolling as an advocate but real data is missing as none of the state bar council have data- base of practicing advocate which has forced the bar council to start advocate verification process by submitting the testimonial that they are really practicing as an advocate. BCI started this process in Aug 2016 and again extended it. As the reality among the advocate fraternity is that only 40%of enrolled advocate are originally active in the litigation or visiting the court. Most of the crowd enrolled as advocates are mere advocate on I- CARD and take proud in saying that they are real advocates, which is a bone of trouble adding an impurity to the noble profession of advocacy. This has degraded the charm and fashion of this intellectual profession. If we will throw light on practicing norms which are very strict on paper and provided by state bar council of all the states that if you are going to join any other occupation surrender your license of practice and if you want to join again then reactivate it from the concerned bar council where you are registered. But this rule is sleeping on the paper and hardly any person goes through this practice because its implementation has no check because there is no investigation process under the present system to check whether a person enrolled as an advocate is really practicing or involved in another profession. This practice has faded the glory of this profession and it being exploited to satisfy dual or triple agenda. The second thing is that bar council of India has adopted upside down process after the for registration since they have introduced all India bar examination for which they ask enrolment as an advocate in concerned state bar council and then they ask to appear in all India bar exam which seems revenue earning tactics which sound like a mockingbird. His is because first, they ask you to enrolled as an advocate and pass the all India bar exam to become full-fledged advocate, suppose a person has not cleared the exam what will be his status as state bar council has already given tag of an advocate, rather than following this process they should have taken exam first and successful candidate should have been asked to registered as an advocate with certificate of practice would not add complexities in future that would have automatically created a uniform database of lawyer enrolled after 2010. the law commission of India in its recent report has targeted bar council of India and advocate act by firing heavy questions which are full of promises but with no solution which is still unattended which has no meaning if this type of report has to be presented with the only gossip of reform but no implementation will make this profession a vulnerable one adding more danger to independent judiciary and access to justice for common people. 

Ashutosh Kumar is former legal officer at AALCO, New Delhi and currently Advocate, Supreme Court of India. He is visiting faculty Lloyd Law College, Gr. Noida. He can be reached at [email protected]

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