The Madras High Court today stayed a Bar Council of India (BCI) order, whereby it had deferred its approval to a resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu bar council, laying down several conditions, including a 10-year continuous practice, for contesting the March 28 polls to the body.
Passing the interim order on a petition filed by lawyer V Vasanthakumar, a division bench of justices C T Selvam and N Sathish Kumar issued notice to the standing counsel for the BCI and posted the matter to March 1.
The petitioner had contended that the February 4 impugned order of the BCI was arbitrary and against the well settled principles of law.
"The BCI seems to be indifferent to implement the objectives of the council rules in so far as the conduct of elections to uphold the standards of the profession," the petition said, seeking the quashing of the order.
A special committee, formed for managing the day-to-day affairs of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry till the completion of the election to the council, had on January 21 passed a resolution amending the Advocates Act.
As per the amendment, advocates in practice for a continuous period of 10 years alone were entitled to contest the election.
It had also barred those holding official positions in a political party and already elected for two consecutive terms to the state bar council from contesting the poll.
The resolution was sent to the BCI for approval and the latter, at a meeting held on February 4, had deferred its decision.
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