The Madras High Court directed the authorities today to provide armed police protection to some senior office-bearers of the Bar Council of India and state bar council in view of threats amid a verification process to weed out fake advocates. According to an interim order passed by Justice N Kirubakaran, Bar Council of India co-chairman S Prabhakaran and Secretary of Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (BCTP) C Rajakumar will get armed police protection. The state body's office here will be guarded too. The BCTP is carrying out verification of certificates of advocates to weed out those who had obtained degrees fraudulently, and will prepare a voters list for the coming election to the council. The judge earlier directed the BTCP and Tamil Nadu Advocate General Vijay Narayan to take up the issue of fake lawyers who allegedly indulged in 'Katta Panchayat' (kangaroo court), and file a report. He made the direction while hearing a petition by 17 MBSS students of a private medical college seeking transfer to a state-run institution due to a dispute between trustees of their college in which advocates were engaged to resolve the problem. The Advocate General today submitted that verification of basic degrees and school certificates was in process and there were difficulties in getting them verified within a short time. He said only after thorough verification could the genuine advocates list be prepared and elections conducted by the council. The judge, after perusing some messages on social media platforms, said there was a serious threat to the safety of the Bar Council premises, since verification of certificates of all enrolled advocates was being undertaken there. This, he said, was because persons with fake educational certificates and fraudulent law degrees and criminal background were afraid that they would be exposed if the verification of all certificates was done. "If elections are conducted without verification, only persons with fake and irregular degrees and persons with criminal background would dominate the proposed election. Hence, thorough verification of all certificates is needed," he observed. The judge then posted the matter for further hearing to November 17.
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