On July 24, a letter was addressed by BCI which asked all the District as well as Taluka Bar Association to supply the details and information of all the practicing Advocates who are the members of their respective Bar Associations for the inspection of the Supreme Court of India. The letter also mentioned that the Advocates who fail to accoutre the necessary information to their respective Bar Association which will be forwarded to BCI will be treated as non-practicing Advocate by the council.
The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) stated that it is the right of the individuals, whether they want to register themselves with any of the State/District Bar Association or not and it is not at all mandatory as per the provisions of The Advocates Act,1961. As per the petitioners' contention, an advocate cannot be compelled to be a member of the bar Association.
The petition stated that “the stipulation in the letter supra of BCI that those advocates who are not members of any of the Bar Associations shall consequently be declared to be “non-practicing Advocates” is arbitrary, illegal, null and void and is a violation of The Advocates Act,1961 according to which enrolment with a State Bar Council is the only requirement to practice as an Advocate in any Court in the country”.
“If at all anyone is aggrieved by the said circular/communication, he or she has to be a member of the Bar, who are certainly themselves capable of canvassing their grievances by filling appropriate proceedings in accordance with the law. Hence, we declined to entertain this petition as a Public Interest Litigation, and accordingly, the writ petition is disposed of”, Division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice ES Indiresh stated in the order while declining to entertain the petition.