This article on ‘The Advocates Protection Bill, 2021: All You Need to Know‘ was written by an intern at Legal Upanishad.
This article examines the most recent legislation designed to safeguard advocates and their families against exploitation, abduction, and wrongful detention. Similar to the Police and the Judiciary, the Advocates society serves as a vital component of the justice delivery system. Advocates, who bridge the gap between the Police and the Judiciary and argue matters in court, lack social security and protection from antisocial groups. If approved, this measure will protect the social and physical safety of attorneys and their families.
The Advocates Protection Bill of 2021 provides advocates with financial and safety. Unlike judges and police, there are no specific regulations protecting advocates against intimidation, coercion, or wrongful imprisonment. This legislation inspires trust in its proponents. This article also aims to cover all key sections and the importance of this measure.
Need and Relevance of this Bill
- The Advocates Act 1961 protects advocates’ rights, privileges, and interests, but there is no particular Act for their protection, as several states have for doctors and hospitals.
- Advocates are increasingly attacked, kidnapped, and threatened. Over 1000 threatening calls were made to Supreme Court attorneys warning them not to hear the PM’s security breach case.
- In Madurai, two homemade bombs were hurled at a lawyer.
- In Madurai, two homemade bombs were hurled at a lawyer.
- Two lawyers were attacked with swords in Mumbai while meeting with a client.
- While defending prisoners or detained individuals, advocates are often questioned about their privileged conversations with the client, which breaches Resolution A/HRC/RES/29/6 of the United Nations General Assembly.
As a result of these attacks and threats, lawyers are unable to provide their services to clients, requiring this bill.
“Basic Principles of the Role Of Lawyers” and “Advocates Protection Bill of 2021”
- This bill is consistent with a resolution approved in the 1990s by the Eighth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Offender Treatment, entitled “Basic principles of the role of lawyers.”
A] Basic Principles of the Role of Lawyers
- Clause 16 specifies that “governments must ensure that lawyers are not intimidated, harassed, or unjustly impeded” They are not subject to prosecution, administrative, monetary, or other penalties for professional requirements, standards, and ethics, and are free to travel and consult with clients inside and outside of their nation. They are not liable for professional wrongdoing.”
- Clause 17 states, “Whenever the security of attorneys is jeopardized by the performance of their responsibilities, the competent authorities must ensure their safety.”
B] Advocates Protection Act 2021 Provisions
The purpose of this policy is to protect advocates for the administration of justice from both physical and mental assault. The Advocates Protection Bill of 2021 is divided into sixteen sections.
- Explanations of the Terms Acts of Violence and Advocate
An advocate is defined as a registered advocate in section 2(1)(a) of the Advocates Act of 1961, which was passed in 1961. According to the Advocates Protection Bill of 2021, Acts of Violence are defined as any act that interrupts, affects, or is unfair to the working or living circumstances of an advocate. This definition can be found in Part one, paragraph (a), Section 2 of the bill. It is against the law to commit violent acts.
- Penalty and Imprisonment
The Advocates Protection Bill of 2021 has a provision in Section 3 that says anybody who commits, helps, or abets a crime committed against an advocate is subject to a maximum jail sentence of five years. In accordance with this law’s Section 4, the minimum amount of compensation is set at 50,000 Rupees, but it can go up to a maximum of 150,000 Rupees for the same transgression.
- Investigation as well as Cross-Examination
Section 3 of this Act necessitates an inquiry by a Deputy Superintendent of Police. Section 5 states: Section 5(2) and Section 5(3) of this legislation require that the investigation be completed within 30 days of the complaint’s submission. This clause guarantees a quick trial and remedy. Lower-level courts with jurisdiction may be petitioned if desired. The cross-examination continues until the final decision unless section 5(5) of this act requires a delay. Cross-examination continues.
- The practice of compounding crimes
The judge has the authority to order police protection for an attorney. In accordance with Section 7 of this bill, the government may place an individual under protective custody for as much time as it deems necessary before applying to the appropriate High Court to protect them from threats and acts of violence.
- Represent clients in a legal capacity as an officer of the court
In Section 8 of this bill, the term “advocate” is defined as an official of a court, tribunal, or authority, which may include law enforcement officials.
- Complaints brought forth by the Advocates.
Section 9 of this measure would create a three-member commission to investigate attorney complaints submitted in the district, high, and supreme courts. The committee has two members selected by the State Bar Councils of India and India, with the Bar Council of India having the ultimate say. The group also includes a District Judge, High Court Chief Justice, and India’s Chief Justice. The committee also consults the Bar Council of India. This Committee may give directions and complaints.
- The defense of those who advocate for others
is discussed in Section 10, which provides the provision that no action shall be brought against an attorney if the attorney acted in good faith and the execution of their duties when the conduct in question occurred. This section provides more evidence that advocates may form or join professional clubs and organizations without being subject to undue influence in order to advance their interests, education, and professional standing in providing legal aid services.
- The Advocates Protection Bill 2021 has a provision titled “Protection of Advocates from Illegal Detention and Malicious Prosecution.”
The Advocates Protection Bill 2021 has a provision titled “Protection of Advocates from Illegal Detention and Malicious Prosecution.” Protecting advocates from being wrongfully imprisoned or prosecuted is the purpose of this clause, which specifies that no police officer shall arrest or investigate any case against an advocate unless the particular order was provided by the Chief Judicial Magistrate or Metropolitan Magistrate. In the event that any information about the commission of a crime by a representative has been received, the officer in charge of the police station is expected to elaborate on the information.
When a public official with investigative powers under Chapter XII of the Criminal Procedure Code 1973 or another legislation is found to be in possession of an advocate’s investigation and communications, it is presumed that the material was obtained by coercion. Chapter XII of the Criminal Procedure Code of 1973 or another legislation grants the public servant investigative authority. Section 12 of the Criminal Procedure Code supports this concept.
- Pass Legislation in Response to Recommendations Made by BCI
There is a provision in the Advocates Bill 2021 called Section 13 that gives the federal government the right to pass legislation after seeking feedback from the Bar Council of India. This authority was granted by the Advocates Bill 2021.
- Certain provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure
Section 14 of the Criminal Procedure Code applies the requirements of that code to the proceedings in court. These provisions include things like bail, bonds, and appeals.
- The rules and procedures governing the provision of financial assistance and the availability of loans
The Central Government and State Governments have the authority to establish regulations and procedures for the provision of financial support to advocates who are in need during pandemics such as the Coronavirus, the Global Pandemic, and other natural disasters. This authority enables the Central Government and State Governments to fulfill their responsibilities under the authority delegated to them by the Federal Government.
If an attorney needs financial support, the Local Magistrate or District Magistrate is obligated, on the suggestion of the State Bar Councils, to offer at least 15,000 rupees to the such attorney. Section 15, it is discussed how loan opportunities can be made available to deserving advocates at a reasonable interest rate if the Central Government publishes sufficient circulars and recommendations to PSUs and Scheduled Banks. This is possible if the Central Government publishes sufficient circulars and recommendations to PSUs and Scheduled Banks.
As there have been an increasing number of violent occurrences against attorneys and their families, the Advocates Protection Bill is both very valuable and urgently required for their protection. Alternatively, there is also the possibility of abuse. If properly implemented, it will encourage attorneys to practice their profession with more freedom.
- Pithadiya, M., 2021. Advocates Protection Bill 2021: Need and Requirement in the Society. [online] Legalbites.in. Available at: https://www.legalbites.in/advocates-protection-bill-2021/ [Accessed 1 October 2022].
- Saket Makkad, Advocates Protection Bill 2021: Overview and Importance, 2 Jus Corpus L.J. 664 (2021).
- Republic World. 2022. Supreme Court lawyers get over 1000 threat calls; SCAORA VP urges agencies to intervene. [online] Available at: https://www.republicworld.com/india-news/law-and-order/supreme-court-lawyers-get-over-1000-threat-calls-scaora-vp-urges-agencies-to-intervene-articleshow.html#:~:text=Speaking%20to%20Republic%2C%20advocate%20Manoj,%2C%E2%80%9D%20the%20SCAORA%20VP%20said. [Accessed 1 October 2022].
- News, C. and News, m., 2022. Petrol bombs hurled at advocate’s house | Madurai News – Times of India. [online]
- The Times of India. Available at: https://arcattoscana.org/city/madurai/petrol-bombs-hurled-at-advocates-house/articleshow/87745414.cms [Accessed 1 October 2022].
- United Nations, 1990. Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers. Havana, Cuba Clause 16: Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders.