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THE NEED TO PROTECT THE ADVOCATES FROM THE UNCERTANITIES OF THE SOCIETY

Author: Akshat jain, V year of B.A.,LL.B.(Hons.) from Asian law college, Noida


INTRODUCTION

Advocates are an essential part of the legal system in India. They play a crucial role in ensuring access to justice for all citizens and protecting their rights. However, advocates in India face several challenges, including threats, attacks, and harassment, which hinder their ability to perform their duties effectively. The need for an Advocate Protection Act in India has been widely discussed in recent years, and it is crucial to understand the reasons behind this demand.

Keywords:- Advocates, Advocate protection bill, legal system ,legal framework, Bar council.


NEED OF ADVOCATES PROTECTION ACT

One of the primary reasons for the need for an Advocate Protection Act in India is the increasing incidents of violence against advocates. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, there were 143 cases of assault on advocates in India in 2020. These incidents not only harm the advocates but also undermine the justice system and the rule of law. An Advocate Protection Act would provide a legal framework to protect advocates and ensure that such incidents are dealt with appropriately.


Another reason for the need for an Advocate Protection Act is to address the issue of harassment and intimidation of advocates. Advocates often face harassment and intimidation from clients, opponents, and even judges. This can include verbal abuse, threats, and even physical assault. The protection provided by an Advocate Protection Act would ensure that advocates can carry out their duties without fear of such harassment and intimidation.


Currently there are many states which are working on the implemenation of the Advocate protection act to save the advocates from the threats, attacks and harrasments. Rajasthan, one of the states, made national history by being the first to approve a legislation ensuring the protection of advocates. The Rajasthan Assembly resolved to approve the Advocates Protection Bill on March 22, 2023. The measure will now become law and be referred to as the Advocate Protection Act 2023[1]. “The aim behind the introduction and implementation of the Advocates Protection Act is to prevent lawyers from assault, grievous hurt, criminal force and intimidation. Any damage or loss to their property would also be covered by the bill”.


The lack of a specific legal framework to protect advocates also makes it difficult for them to seek redressal for any harm caused to them. Advocates often face difficulty in obtaining police protection or in pursuing legal action against those who have harmed them. An Advocate Protection Act would provide a legal framework to protect advocates and ensure that they can seek appropriate redressal in case of harm caused to them.


An advocate is someone who provides legal advice and assistance and represents another person's interests in court, according to Black Law's dictionary. According to the Advocate Act of 1961, an advocate is a person with a law degree who is registered with the bar council and is qualified to represent a party in court.

The advocate's dress code bears the same connotations as their line of work. For example:

• The colour black is associated with justice, power, and authority.

• A white band and shirt symbolise justice, kindness, innocence, and purity.

This demonstrates how the legal profession is an exclusive one, which explains why lawyers are commonly referred to as "Vakil Shahab" in the Layman's language.


Now after so many years of struggle finally Bar Council of India on July 2, 2021, constitute a seven-member committee to draught the law, which deal with the problem encountered by an Advocate in their profession. The bill contains the "Preamble" in which 9 points describe the statement of object and reasons for the greater protection of the advocate and their functions in the discharge of professional duties.

Preamble 9 points are:[2]

1. Address incidences of abuse, murder, intimidation, and recurring threats against advocates that prevent them from providing their clients with competent services and result in shortcomings.

2. To deal with protecting Advocate from threats and assaults like these, legislation for Advocate's protection must be introduced.

3. Assure the Advocate's basic and minimal needs are met by providing social security.

4. India participated in the Eighth United Nations Congress on the prevention of crime and the treatment of criminals, where it accepted the fundamental principles on the function of a lawyer. Clauses 16 to 18 of the declaration deal with assurances for the lawyer's ability to practise law..

5. Supreme Court of India in case Ramon services Pvt. Ltd vs Subash Kapoor (AIR 2001, SC,207)[3] has noticed that a member of the legal profession is undoubtedly among society's elite.

6. An advocate may be falsely accused and unfairly prosecuted while doing their duties. which also meant to prevent them from carrying out their tasks.

7. The advocate's inability to communicate with the detainee they are defending is another challenge. The United Nations Human Rights Council noted this in a resolution on the "independence of judges and lawyers," noting that the lawyer-client privilege and the rule of confidentiality are violated.

8. Supreme court case of O.N. Mahindroo v. The Bar Council of Delhi and Ors. (1968)[4]. It is observed that Advocates are able to provide expert services without fear of retaliation or outside pressure towards the ultimate goal of the rule of law and administration of justice.

9. Advocate protection bill 2021 seeks to achieve the above objectives


The Advocate Protection Act would also serve as a deterrent to those who intend to harm advocates. The act would establish severe penalties for any act of violence, harassment, or intimidation of advocates. This would send a clear message that the legal system in India takes the protection of advocates seriously.


CONCLUSION

In conclusion, an Advocate Protection Act is necessary to protect the rights and safety of advocates in India. The act would provide a legal framework to protect advocates from violence, harassment, and intimidation and ensure that they can carry out their duties effectively. It would also serve as a deterrent to those who intend to harm advocates. Therefore, the government should consider enacting a nation wide Advocate Protection Act at the earliest to safeguard the interests of advocates and the justice system in India.


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