Mysuru Bar Association resolution restraining lawyers from appearing for the student who held “Free Kashmir” placard challenged in Karnataka High Court

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The Petitioner, Ramesh Naik has filed a writ petition challenging the resolution passed by Mysuru Bar Association. The resolution says that no person must appear for Nalini Balakumar, who held the placard FREE KASHMIR and anyone contravening the same will be suspended. The petitioner and others wanted to file the Vakalath and they were suspended. The writ is filed to challenge the resolution as it curtails the fundamental right to practice the profession.

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by Ramesh Naik which is against the decision taken by the Bar Association of Mysuru and precluding all its members from representing Nalini Balakumar, charged under sedition for holding a placard for Free Kashmir in the University of Mysuru on January 8, 2020. It happened in a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA) and proposed the National Register of Citizens (NRC) by the Central Government. A resolution was passed by the executive committee of Bar Association not to file vakalath and appear on behalf of the accused. There were warning letters that were sent to advocates through social media to abide by the resolution, otherwise, stringent action shall be taken against them. Nevertheless, hundreds of advocates including the petitioner were agreed to represent the accused and members going against the resolution were suspended by the association. There was a requisition/representation on 23rd January 2020 to Karnataka State Bar Association to issue appropriate directions to Mysuru Bar Association to protect the interests, rights, and privileges of Sister and Brother Advocates but there was no response provided by the association. Hence, this led to the filing of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Karnataka High Court.

In the petition, he mentions about the Fundamental Right which is guaranteed under Article 19(1) (g)  that is the Right to practice to its citizens. The Section 6(d) and (dd) of the Advocates Act, 1961 imposes a duty on the Karnataka State Bar Association, “To safeguard the rights, privileges, interests of Advocates on its roll” and “to promote the growth of Bar Associations for effective implementation of the welfare scheme”. The inaction by the association is the violation of the provision mentioned in the Advocates Act, 1961. The resolution which was passed by the Bar Association of Mysuru was unmindful, arbitrary and without the application of mind as such. 

Key-Features:-

  • Bar members were suspended for filing vakalath on behalf of the accused.
  • Section 124-A of IPC, 1860 was booked on the students by Police for protesting.
  • Anticipatory Bail was granted by the Mysuru Court to the student on 27th January 2020.
  • The Judge opined that holding the freedom of speech is necessary for the success of Democracy.
  • Last month, 170 Advocates across executed Vakalatnama for the student in her bail application, as a sign of protest against the resolution.

Edited by J. Madonna Jephi

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

Reference:-

  • Live Law. in, ‘Free Kashmir’ Placard: PIL in Karnataka HC for action against Mysuru Bar Association for stopping lawyers from appearing for a student in sedition case https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/free-kashmir-placard-pil-in-karnataka-hc-for-action-against-mysuru-bar-association-for-stopping-lawyers-from-appearing-for-student-in-sedition-case-152442#
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I am pursuing my integrated five years bachelors of law degree from Centre for Juridical Studies, Dibrugarh University. I do have an interest in reading books written by Arundhati Roy, Ashwini Sanghi, Ramachandra Guha and others. Any personality whom I like is Karl Marx and Che Guevara, as latter did write the book “Motor Cycle diaries” which is based on upon his journey on a bike with his friend. Whereas I do like to binge-watch series and out of those which I have seen till now are two and a half men, Suits, Sherlock and Friends to name a few. Apart from that, I do have an interest in writing articles and stories along with being a part of any discussions or debates.