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The Bar Council of India (BCI) today issued notice to all elected representatives across the country who continue to practice as advocates, seeking their response on a plea demanding barring of such MPs and MLAs from practicing law. BCI chairman Manan Kumar Misra said the apex regulatory body of lawyers has issued notice to which the legislators and parliamentarians have to respond within a week. "As per the rules, government employees cannot practice as advocates.
We have issued the notice on the basis of the petition filed before the BCI," Mishra told PTI here. The BCI's move came on a plea filed before it by BJP spokesperson of Delhi unit Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking to "debar MLAs and MPs from practicing as an Advocate before the Court of Law in spirit of the Bar Council of India Rules." Parliamentarians such as Kapil Sibal, P Chidambaram, Subramanian Swamy, K T S Tulsi, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Kalyan Banerjee and Meenakshi Lekhi are among those who have been asked to respond to Upadhyay's plea. The plea alleged that such lawmakers appear as advocates even when Parliament or the assemblies are in session and "participate in matters that affects financial interests of country as well as financial interests of their spouse/ children/blood relatives/partner/organization in which they serve." It said that the members of the executive and judiciary are not permitted to practice as advocates but the elected representatives, who also are public servants, are allowed. This went against the spirit of the Constitution, it claimed.
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