In a contempt plea, Supreme Court tells Bar Council to ensure timely disposal of complaints

The Supreme Court in the case Charanjeet Singh Chanderpal Vasant D. Salunkhe & Ors observed the alleging disobedience of Top Court’s directions asking Bar Councils to decide complaints against Advocates within 1 year of their receipt the court further sought the Bar Council of India’s detailed reply in a contempt petition. on or before 14.07.2022, the bench asked Bar Council of India to file a report, while adjourning the matter. While considering the provision of section 35 of the Act, the disciplinary committee of the State Bar Council would pass orders in accordance with the consideration of the said inquiry report. Thereafter the court directed the State Bar Council to enlist a panel of Inquiry Officers who c o u l d b e e n t r u s t e d w i t h t h e conduct of the inquiry as and when the same is necessitated on a complaint and the court also issued the directions to the Disciplinary Committee of State Bar Councils to meet on a regular basis for expediting the process of complaints at the state level. The complainants and the concerned advocates a g a i n s t w h o m t h e complaints can appear b e f o r e t h e I n q u i r y Officers in the State where the complaints are filed as the Court directed BCI to issue directions to enlist a panel of Inquiry Officers to the State Bar Council f o r c o n d u c t i n g t h e inquiry on behalf of BCI and to provide a report to BCI upon enquiry to BCI so that it can take appropriate actions. The Court noted that a mechanism for disposal ought to be developed as it was being considered that 1273 complaints were transferred to the BCI from State Bar Councils over the last five years. In its order the Court further observed that the Bar Council of India i s r e q u i r e d t o s e e whether the directions i s su e d by t h i s c o u r t a r e t r u l y a n d f u l l y complied with the Bar C o u n c i l o f I n d i a a s well as all the State Bar C o u n c i l s . Ap e x C o u r t also passed directions to expedite the disposal o f t h e t r a n s f e r r e d proceedings before the Bar Council of India a l o n g w i t h a s k i n g Th e B a r C o u n c i l s t o dispose of complaints e x p e d i t i o u s l y u n d e r Section 35 and as mandated under Section 36 B of the Advocates Act and the same can be concluded within a period of one year from the date of receipt of the complaint. The bench comprising of Justice M.R. Shah a n d t h e Ju s t i c e B .V. Nagarathna observed and contended that BCI ought to dispose of the transferred proceedings/complaints w i t h i n a p e r i o d o f one year from the receipt of transfer and it was being further observed by the bench that the p r o c e e d i n g s w o u l d b e t r a n s f e r r e d t o t h e B a r C o u n c i l o f I n d i a t h a t o n l y i n exceptional cases and o n p r ov i d i n g c o ge nt and valid reasons for n o n – d i s p o s a l w i t h i n one year

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