By Violet Pereira, Team Mangalorean
Mangalore: Bar Association in the city staged a protest in front of the DC office, after marching from the City court in procession on July 11.
The Mangalore Bar council president S P Chengappa led the procession. Inaugurating the procession the senior advocate G K Parameshwar Jois said that, we demand the withdrawal of higher education and research bill 2011 and other bills which are against the interest of advocates. If the new bill comes into force, advocates will lose their freedom to practice law and this will affect them. In such a situation, advocates will not be able to give justice to the people. This is not a protest but this is the fight for the rights of the advocates to practice their profession. It is a message to all the people that, the advocates are more concerned about the people of the country.
Addressing the protesters S P Chengappa said that ' The Higher Education and Research Bill 2011 ', 'The National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institution Act 2010 ', 'The Foreign Educational Institution Regulation of Entry and Operation Bill 2010 ', 'The Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Higher Educational Institution Bill 2010 ', 'The National Law Schools Bill 2011 ',' The Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2011 ', is likely to be introduced by the central government. These bills provide for total control of the legal education including prescribing of syllabus and curriculum by a national commission for higher education and research bill, thereby the power and the function of the bar council of India providing for control of higher education and legal education including the prescribing of the syllabus and curriculum is taken away. It is in a way of intruding in the autonomy and independence of the legal profession.
He further said that the Bar Council of India is a statutory body created under the advocates act, 1961 for maintaining the standard of Legal Profession, the independence of profession, the high standard of legal education. The state bar councils and bar council of India were assigned independent functions under sections 6 and 7 of the advocates act, 1961. As back as in 1961, the parliament felt that the maintenance of the freedom of lawyer is a must for a strong democracy, therefore the advocates act, 1961 was passed, assigning very important functions with regard to the legal education and standard legal profession to these elected bodies called State Bar Councils and Bar Council of India. And in the recent past, the governments have been facing strong opposition on several vital issues from the lawyers and under these backgrounds the present Government is trying to curb the independence of legal profession and to have a direct control over the lawyers, legal profession and legal education.
The power to take disciplinary action against lawyers was attempted to be taken away and the proposal was to give this power to some bureaucrats or outsiders so that the government could be at liberty to misuse this power. It is under these background that the ministry of human resource development has come out with the higher education and research bill 2011. The proposed bill directly affects the vital and basic structures of the advocates act, 1961 under which total autonomy and independence was given to the bar council or India and State bar councils is to regulate the Legal Profession and Legal Education, he said.
The experiment of the Bar council of India to start a first class educational institution in the form of the National Law School of India University at Bangalore, was a resounding success. Today under the guidelines and ideas of Bar Council of India, more than 14 National law schools have come up in different states providing a totally new vision and dimension to the concept of Legal education in the country.
Further he said that Mangalore bar Association is of the firm belief that the proposed new legislation by lowering the status of the legal profession is stealthy trying to invite foreign firms to settle down in India thereby depriving the legal professional in India of its legitimate claims. The type of confusion this legislation will create will only bring down the name of the legal profession and make way for inviting foreigners onto the Indian soil.
Instead of introducing the Higher Education and Research Bill, it is better to introduce Judicial Accountability Bill and implement the Jan Lokpal bill. We the entire Bar Council will support this bill. While concluding Chengappa demanded the withdrawal of the six bills.
The memorandum was handed over to the Additional Deputy Commissioner K A Dayananda by S P Chengappa and others in the DC office.