Supporting the Bar Council of India's call, Odisha state bar council today decided to observe April 21 as All India Protest Day against the proposed Advocates' (Amendment) Bill-2017 as suggested by the Law Commission of India (LCI). Odisha Bar Council chairman Manas Ranjan Mohapatra told reporters that lawyers of the state will abstain from court work on April 21 and burn the LCI report in front of different courts as a mark of protest. Welcoming all lawyers across the country to the national convention of the council scheduled to be held at Bhubaneswar on April 22, Mohapatra said the executive body members of different bar councils and bar associations will participate in a deliberation on the same date to discuss and decide on the further course of action against the LCI report. Stating that the "draconian" proposal will take away the autonomy and independence of the Indian Bar, the state bar council expressed strong resentment to the LCI recommendations saying if the proposals are put to practice, then it will jeopardise the entire legal fraternity. The bill proposes that the executive members of bar councils are to be henceforth nominated by the High Courts and Supreme Court. Earlier, members of the councils were elected by the enrolled advocates of different courts. The bill also proposes that 50 per cent of the executive members are to be people from the fields of commerce, accountancy or management, medical science or social science. The lawyers are objecting to the LCI recommendation, which says they will henceforth be required to pay compensation to the clients to the tune of Rs 5 lakh in case they go on strikes, abstinence or fail to appear in cases, even if the clients might not have paid a single rupee as fee to the lawyers.
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