Report No. 266
Law Commission's Initiative
6.1 The Commission invited suggestions from all stakeholders by putting on its website a notice dated 22nd July, 2016, as to how the system could be improved. The attention of the Bar Council of India was drawn to the said notice by writing a letter on 3rd August, 2016. The Registrar General of all High Courts were addressed a similar email on 4th August, 2016. Simultaneously, an email was sent to all the State Bar Councils, Supreme Court Bar Association and Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association. On the same day, the Chairman addressed a letter to the Chief Justices of all the High Courts, requesting them to use their good offices to give wide publicity to the endeavour of the Commission amongst the various associations of Advocates' (in whatever name they exist), with a request to send their response directly to the Commission by email at the earliest.
6.2 In pursuance of the aforesaid, the Bar Council of India, the highest body in the hierarchy under the Advocates Act, appointed an Advisory Committee headed by Mr. Justice Shivraj Patil, former Judge, Supreme Court of India. The BCI made comprehensive recommendations on various issues relating to the Advocates Act and also submitted a draft Bill for consideration of the Commission. The Bar Council of India was of the view that in addition to the regulatory mechanism, other inter-related issues, i.e., constitution of the BCI and the State Bar Councils are also required to be revisited. The BCI made some suggestions in this regard. The draft Bill prepared by the Bar Council of India is annexed as Annexure I to this Report. In response to the request of the Commission, several stakeholders like Bar Associations, individual advocates and judicial officers have sent their valuable suggestions. A summary of their responses is annexed as Annexure II to this Report.
6.3 The Law Commission, while reviewing the Advocates Act, felt that the conduct of the advocates, directly as well indirectly affects the functioning of the courts, and thereby contributes to the pendency of cases. The Commission felt that some provisions would be necessary to regulate the conduct of advocates in the court, which affects the functioning of the court as well as the expectations of the aggrieved, alike. Keeping this in view, all the High Courts through the Chief Justices were requested to send data on loss of working days by call of strikes in their respective jurisdictions, during the last five years. The Commission was astonished on going through the responses received pursuant to its request, as it was found that the strikes by the advocates were rampant throughout the length and breadth of the country with little variation in degree.