Train young lawyers to understand profession, ethics: CJI to BCI

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India JS Khehar on Friday urged the Bar Council of India to train young lawyers to make them understand the profession and its work ethics.

He also asked the apex lawyers’ body, BCI, to improve the quality of legal institutions by training and helping litigants and make the lawyers competent enough to discharge their obligations towards the society.

“Have the institutions right. Lawyers serve the society. Lawyers should be the best. The institution should be competent to discharge the obligation.

“Arrange training for people who join the Bar. People who are scared. People who do not know their profession. Help them. You need to help a lawyer one time, he will then fight every case by himself as he will understand how to search for the law. Also teach them ethics. Have good institutions,” he said.

Justice Khehar was addressing the Bar Council members during a function organised to felicitate him on his elevation as the CJI.

While welcoming the CJI and other dignitaries, BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra extended his support to the Chief Justice-headed collegium, while expressing concern over delay in appointment of judges to the higher judiciary.

“The BCI is seriously concerned about the delay tactics and objectionable conditions proposed by the government in the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP)–a document to guide appointment of Supreme Court and high court judges.”

“BCI demands that all the vacancies in High Courts and the Supreme Court should be filled up at the earliest. We cannot accept any condition in the MoP which our collegium and the Chief Justice of India do not think proper. The Bar stands with the judiciary whole-heartedly and will take necessary steps for strengthening it,” Mishra said.

Mishra also apprised about the BCI’s Certificate and Place of Practice (Verification) Rules and its worthiness in weeding out “unruly and criminal elements” from the legal fraternity.

“The number of practicing lawyers is about to come down to 55 to 60 per cent after the completion of the verification process. This will certainly improve the quality of our legal profession,” the BCI chairman said.

“As per the 2012 election statistics of BCI, we had almost 14 lakh voters, but since this verification process has started, we have received only 6.5 lakh applications,” he added.

Justice Khehar also gave a thumbs up to the verification process.

“I am so happy that the BCI has started the verification process. But it is not only about people with false degrees, but also those with no degrees. These people work without a licence. They go to court and practice without any authority. We need to start much before, right from the institutions,” he said.

Supreme Court Justices Dipak Misra, Arun Misra, Kurien Joseph, R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan, A M Khanwilkar, High Court Chief Justices, Advocate Generals and various state Bar Council office bearers were present at the function.