The Law Commission of India has suggested to the Centre that litigants, who suffer on account of misconduct by lawyers and strikes in courts, be allowed to seek compensation at a forum established under the law.
The Commission, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice B S Chauhan, has submitted the report to the Ministry of Law and Justice and also said that there should be a provision for awarding punishment to errant lawyers.
The panel, which gave a slew of suggestions to make advocacy a litigant friendly affair, also sought punishment for the advocates for going on strike and jeopardising the judicial business in courts.
“If any person suffers loss due to the misconduct of an advocate or for his participation in strike or otherwise, then the victim may make a claim for compensation against the lawyer in the appropriate forum established under any law for the time being in-force.
“The non-payment of fees, either in full or part, by a person to his advocate shall not be a defence available for the advocate against whom such claim for compensation is made,” the panel said.
In terms of punishment to advocates for misconduct, the report has suggested imposition of a fine which may extend to Rs three lakh and the cost of proceedings.
It suggested awarding compensation to the person aggrieved by the misconduct of the advocate and impose costs, subject to a maximum of Rs two lakh.
The report also sought to add in the functions of the Bar Council of India (BCI) the clause “to make rules to deal with strikes, boycotts or abstentions from courts by advocates, provide for suitable measures in this regard and to provide for punishments including the punishment of disqualification from contesting any election of Bar Councils or of Bar Association for a period of six years”.
( Source – PTI )