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Advocates Act, 1961


Introduction

The Indian High Courts Act, 1861 (commonly known as the Charter Act) passed by the British Parliament enabled the Crown to establish High Courts in India by Letters Patent and these Letters Patent authorized and empowered the High Courts to make rules for advocates and attorneys (commonly known as Solicitors). The law relating to Legal Practitioners can be found in the Legal Practitioners Act, 1879 (18 of 1879), the Bombay Pleaders Act, 1920 (17 of 1920) and the Indian Bar Councils Act, 1926 (38 of 1926).

After Independence it was deeply felt that the Judicial Administration in India should be changed according to the needs of the time. The Law Commission was assigned the job of preparing a report on the Reform of Judicial Administration. In the mean while the All India Bar Committee went into detail of the matter and made its recommendations in 1953. To implement the recommendations of the All India Bar Committee and after taking into account the recommendations of the Law Commission on the subject of Reform of Judicial Administration in so far as the recommendation relate to the Bar and to legal education, a Comprehensive Bill was introduced in the Parliament.

Statement of Objects and Reasons

The Bill seeks to implement the recommendations of the All India Bar Committee made in 1953, after taking into account the recommendations of the Law Commission on the subject of Reform of Judicial Administration in so far as the recommendations relate to the Bar and to legal education.

The main features of the Bill are, -

1. The establishment of an All India Bar Council and a common roll of advocates, and advocate on the common roll having a right to practice in any part of the country and in any Court, including the Supreme Court;

2. The integration of the bar into a single class of legal practitioners know as advocates;

3.  The prescription of a uniform qualification for the admission of persons to be advocates;

4.  The division of advocates into senior advocates and other advocates based on merit;

5.  The creation of autonomous Bar Councils, one for the whole of India and on for each State.

Following the recommendations of the All India Bar Committee and the Law Commission, the Bill recognized the continued existence of the system known as the dual system now prevailing in the High Court of Calcutta and Bombay, by making suitable provisions in that behalf: It would, however, be open to t he two High Courts, if they so desire, to discontinue this system at any time.

The Bill, being a comprehensive measure, repeals the Indian Bar Council Act, 1926, and all other laws on the subject.

The Notes on clauses explain, whenever necessary, the various provisions of the Bill.

Act 25 of 1961

The Advocate Bill was passed by both the Houses of Parliament and it received the assent of the President on 19the May,1961 and it become The Advocates Act,1961 (25 of 1961).



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