The Bar Council of India passed a resolution prohibiting lawyer-parliamentarians from appearing before “that court or judge” whom they seek to impeach, LiveLaw.in reported. The resolution was passed on March 18, and released on Saturday.
Although, the council has not named anyone specifically, Congress leaders and senior lawyers Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Vivek Tankha are among those who will be impacted by the resolution. The council’s decision will be communicated to the Supreme Court, and will be considered valid unless the top court strikes it down, the report said.
“The BCI has come to a final conclusion that we cannot stop or ban MPs from practising in courts, but there is an exception to it,” Bar Council of India President Manan Mishra told reporters on Saturday. “Lawyer-MPs or -MLAs, if they start any motion for impeachment or a removal proceeding against any High Court or Supreme Court judge, they will not be allowed to practise in that particular court. This is the majority view of the council.”
Mishra said the resolution was passed to prevent the misuse of powers and privileges of a lawyer. Sibal, Singhvi and Tankha had argued that the council had no jurisdiction to pass the order.
The timing of the resolution is also significant as reports have indicated that a letter seeking to impeach Chief Justice Dipak Misra will be introduced in Parliament on Monday. Media reports had indicated that the Indian National Congress was among several political parties that have initiated the impeachment process.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is hearing a petition filed by advocate and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay who is seeking the top court’s intervention in barring MPs and MLAs from practising law.