New Delhi: Even as the Supreme Court is yet to take a call on whether MPs, MLAs should be barred from practising law, the Bar Council of India (BCI) has adopted a resolution to stop such legislators from practising before "that Court or Judge" against whom they participate in impeachment proceedings.
While the two-page resolution did not clarify whether such legislators would be barred from the entire court or only before a judge in that court, BCI Chairperson Manan Mishra told the media at a press conference on Saturday that the prohibition would be for the entire court, be it the Supreme Court or the High Court.
The BCI made its resolution public on Saturday after rejecting the objections raised by Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Vivek Tankha - - senior lawyers and MPs, who had responded to the BCI notice stating that the lawyers' body had no jurisdiction to pass any order in this matter.
The decision also comes close on the heels of reports that Congress MPs Sibal and Tankha have supported the proposed impeachment process against the current Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
According to the BCI resolution, while the body was against any curb on legislators who want to practice law, an exception should be carved out if such MPs, MLAs want to be a part of the process to remove a judge of a constitutional court.
By a majority, the BCI decided that those MPs and MLAs who wish to participate in the impeachment proceeding in the Parliament should not be allowed to continue their practice before "that Court/Judge". The resolution was passed during adjudication of a representation filed before the BCI by BJP leader and Supreme Court lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay.
Upadhyay has also filed a PIL in the apex court with a prayer to bar MPs and MLAs from practising as lawyers. On the last hearing, a bench led by CJI Misra had issued a notice to the BCI.
After making its resolution public on Saturday, the BCI has said that its decision should be communicated to the Court on the next date of hearing. It has also clarified that until the top court decides anything against the BCI, its decision in this matter shall remain valid.