The repercussions of the criminal contempt case initiated by the Supreme Court against lawyer Prashant Bhushan have not ended yet. While the top court fined Bhushan with a paltry sum of Rs 1, the judgment left enough scope to also ensure that Bhushan’s license to practice law can be suspended.
“Pursuant to the conviction in a criminal case, the Bar Council of India (BCI) can suspend the enrolment, if it so desires,” the judgment said at paragraph 89.
The Bar Council of India has now cited the top court’s judgment to order the Bar Council of Delhi, where Bhushan is enrolled, to examine Bhushan’s tweets and take action as per law.
“The BCI is of the view that the tweets and statements made by Prashant Bhushan and the judgment of the Supreme Court need thorough study and examination… the General Council of the BCI has unanimously resolved to direct the Bar Council of Delhi, where Bhushan is enrolled as an advocate, to examine the matter and proceed as per law and decide the same as expeditiously as possible,” a press release issued by BCI stated.
Section 24A of the Advocates Act provides that a person shall not be admitted as an advocate on roll of the bar council of the concerned state if he/ she is convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude. Section 35 of the Act lays down that if an advocate is found guilty of professional or other misconduct, such an advocate can be suspended from practice for a limited period or their license can be cancelled altogether. Bar Council of India Rules also prescribe the professional conduct and etiquette required of an advocate towards the court.
The BCI said that Bhushan’s tweets should be examined in the light of the above provisions. Bhushan was unavailable for comment.