The Supreme Court has stayed the Bharatpur Bar Association’s decision to suspend legal aid defence counsel. The petitioners seek a contempt proceeding against the association for disobedience of professional ethics, as stated in the Ex. Capt. Harish Uppal v. Union of India, AIR 2003 SC 739, judgement.

The Supreme Court has stayed the Bharatpur Bar Association’s decision to suspend legal aid defence counsel.


Three legal aid defence counsels exhaled a sigh of relief following the Supreme Court’s stay of the letter that had suspended their association. The bench, comprising the Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha, and Justice JB Pardiwala, heard the matter of the petitioners, who alleged that the office bearers hindered their work as legal aid counsel.

Advocates Purna Prakash Sharma, Puneet Kumar Garg, and Madhavendra Singh, the petitioners, were appointed legal aid defence counsel by the legal aid service authority.

Legal Aid Defense Counsel urges Supreme Court to start contempt proceedings against office bearers.

The defence counsels are urging the Supreme Court to start contempt proceedings against the office bearers and the bar association’s president. They have been accused of massive disobedience of the law and alleged to have committed wilful disobedience.

The landmark professional ethics judgement of Ex-Capt. Harish Uppal v. Union of India, AIR 2003 Supreme Court 739, was referred to here, which rejects the lawyer’s right to strike or call for a boycott. These petitions have previously raised whether the lawyers have the right to strike or call for boycotting the courts.

Source: Live Law

The present case alleged that they had opposed and weakened the movement and further broken the association with the Bar Committee Association. The office bearers initially served a notice to them; eventually, there was a suspension for failing in the line, and their membership stands suspended as well.

Office bearers were violating the court’s directions, alleged Legal Aid Counsellors.

The legal aid counsellors were cast around for urgent intervention by the top court against office bearers for violating its directions by calling strikes and hindering the court’s work with an ulterior motive of protesting against the action of the National Legal Services Authority and Rajasthan Legal Service Authority.
The lawyers of Bharatpur have been on strike against the Legal Aid Defence Counsel Scheme’s introduction in the district; the sudden introduction has led to agitation against the legal services authorities. During the recruitment initiation, a protest was registered against it by the collective leadership of the association.

The people who signed the petition said that the movement was led by the convener and president of the Bar Sangharsh Samiti and the president of the committee.

Legal aid counsellors are introduced in newly introduced schemes to aid persons accused or convicted of crimes.

The introduction of the new scheme engages the lawyers full-time and exclusively in legal aid by devoting their effort, assistance, and representation. They have been providing support to the persons accused or convicted of crimes.

This scheme introduction was initially a pilot project in the session courts and a few district courts across the country. However, now we can witness the implementation in other parts of India and criminal courts. They are widely different from the dispensing of legal aid in that case, which is assigned to empanelled lawyers and the lawyers who also have a private practice.

The matter has now been posted to April 21, 2023, to await the completion of the service as per the respondents’ notice. Before this, there was an allocation for the personal appearance of the contemnors in court.

Case title: Purna Prakash Sharma v. Yashwant Singh Faujdar & Ors. | Contempt Petition (Civil) in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 132 of 1998


a master's graduate in political science, interested in politics, gender justice, writing and research.


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