The Bar Council of India (BCI), in a press conference held today, announced that lawyers who are also Members of Parliament (MPs) or Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs), will be prohibited from practicing in a court of a judge against whom they have initiated impeachment proceedings.
Senior advocate and BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said that the decision had been taken by the apex bar body so as to prevent the "misuse of powers" and "privileges" of a lawyer and not of a member of Parliament.
"The BCI has come to a final conclusion that we can not stop or ban MPs from practising in the courts, but there is an exception to it".
Several eminent lawyers are now Members of Parliament; they include Senior Advocates Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Vivek Tankha, Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad and P Chidambaram.
"After considering their replies and the report of the committee, including the report of our co-chairman S Prabhakaran, who has dissented from the majority view, the BCI has come to a final conclusion that we can not stop or ban MPs from practising in the courts but there is an exception to it".
The release said the agenda included "the action of some of the advocates on the issue of motion of impeachment against the judges of High Court/Supreme Court". "This is the majority view of the council", he said.
The decision comes at a time when the opposition is planning to bring a motion in the Rajya Sabha for removal of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra amid the likelihood of senior lawyers P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Vivek Tankha (all Congress), KTS Tulsi (nominated by and aligned with Congress) and Majeed Memon (NCP) backing the move.
"In order to prevent the misuse of the powers and privileges of a lawyer, not of an MP, we have put this condition that if any lawyer-MP starts any impeachment motion or participates in the impeachment motion, he can not practise in that court", Mishra said.