July,26,2015: As a fallout of Delhi Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar's involvement in a fake degree case a startling revelation was made by Bar Council of India (BCI) Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra 30 per cent of all Lawyers in India are fake, holding fraudulent law degrees. Mr. Mishra was addressing the crowd at the Lawyers Meet, 2015, organized by the Bar Council of India in Chennai when he said that this is one of the core reason of degradion the quality of the legal profession. Even the Law Minister of Delhi has a fake degree himself, he said.
He said that the Bar Council of India, which is statutorily empowered to discipline errant lawyers and take action against them, was in the process of weeding them out.
Bar Council needs to filter bad and non-practicing lawyers and remove them from the rolls.” He added that BCI’s Certificate and Place of Practice (Verification) Rules 2015 was one of the steps taken by it to filter fake, non-practicing and bad elements from the court campuses and bar associations.
Mr. Mishra expressed concern that thousands of fake law certificates are being issued and thousands of lawyers, without proper degree, are practicing in courts and tribunals. He said the council has embarked upon the first ever certificate verification exercise, and every enrolled member’s credentials and documents submitted were being verified.
Mr. Mishra also expressed his disapproval over the trend of fresh law graduates becoming Magistrates and not being able to understand and adjudicate issues before them. “Earlier, we used to have a condition that two-three years of Bar experience is a must for writing civil judge examinations. The eligibility rule, however, was quashed by the Supreme Court. The council will now file a review plea before the apex court,” he said.
Supreme Court Judge Justice V. Gopala Gowda also spoke at the function. He found no reason to hand over Authority to the advocates and said, legal aid scheme was working well and judges and lawyers were striving hard for its success.
Former Judge of the Madras High Court Justice Chandru suggested that BCI should form a Committee headed by a retired judge, as full-time practicing advocates may not find enough time to go through the records, with a mandate to verify all records.
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