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(CODE: K3005)



(AFFLIATED TO Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut)




The Advocate Bill was passed by both the Houses of Parliament and
it received the assent of the President on 19the May,1961 and it
become The Advocates Act,1961 (25 of 1961).

The main salient features of this Bar Council is to enroll the

candidates who have obtained law degree, disciplinary control over
the advocates, to promote legal education to junior advocates and
provide financial assistance to the Advocates on medical ground and
also the bereaved family of the Advocates.

Objective of the Act

1. The establishment of an All India Bar Council and a common roll

of advocates and advocate on the common roll having a right to
practice in any part of the country and in any Court, including the
Supreme Court;

2. The integration of the bar into a single class of legal practitioners

knows as advocates;

3. The prescription of a uniform qualification for the admission of

persons to be advocates;

4. The division of advocates into senior advocates and other

advocates based on merit;

5. The creation of autonomous Bar Councils, one for the whole of

India and on for each State.

The Bill, being a comprehensive measure, repeals the Indian Bar

Council Act, 1926, and all other laws on the subject.

Definition clause under Advocates act 1961

Sec 2. Of the Advocates act 1961 covers all the definition clause.

(a) "Advocate" means an advocate entered in any roll under the

provisions of this Act: (b) "appointed day", in relation to any
provision of this Act, means the day on which that provision comes
into force. (d) "Bar Council" means a Bar Council constituted under
this Act; (e) "Bar Council of India" means the Bar Council
constituted under section 4 for the territories to which this Act
extends; (g) "High Court", except in sub-section (1) and sub-section
(lA) of section 34 and in sections 42 and 43, does not include a court
of the Judicial Commissioner, and, in relation to a State Bar
Council, means:

(G (I) in the case of a Bar Council constituted for a State or for a

State and one or more Union Territories, the High Court for the
State; (ii) in the case of the Bar Council constituted for Delhi, the
High Court of Delhi;

(h) "law graduate" means a person who has obtained a bachelor's

degree in law from any university established by law in India; (I)
"legal practitioner" means an advocate or vakil of any High Court, a
pleader mukhtar or revenue agent;

(j) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act; (k)
"roll" means a roll of advocates prepared and maintained under this
Act; (l) "State" does not include a Union Territory; (m) "State Bar
Council" means a Bar Council constituted under section 3; (n)
"State roll" means a roll of advocates prepared and maintained by a
State Bar Council under section 17.

(2) Any reference in this Act to a law which is not in force in the
State of Jammu and Kashmir or in the Union Territory of Goa,
Daman and Diu, shall, in relation to that State r that territory, be
construed as a reference to the corresponding law, if any, in force in
that State or that Territory, as the case may be.



 The nature of the project is purely doctrinal/non-empirical. It

is purely based on data collected from Law books, Acts,
journals and web sources.
 The methodology also includes data collected both from the
primary & secondary sources, but mainly from secondary



Legal Ethics & Significance

The word ethics is derived from the Greek word ethos (character), and from the Latin
word mores (customs). Together they combine to define how individuals choose to
interact with one another. In philosophy, ethics defines what is good for the individual
and for society and establishes the nature of duties that people owe themselves and
one another. The following items are characteristics of ethics:
• Ethics involves learning what is right and wrong, and then doing the right

Legal profession is noble profession. The nobility of the legal profession is

maintained by the adherence and observance of a set of professional norms by those
who adopt this profession. It is knows as legal ethics or the ethics of the legal
profession. The fundamental of the legal ethics is to maintain the owner and dignity of
the law profession, to secure a spirit of friendly cooperation between Bench and Bar
in the promotion of highest standard of justice, to establish honorable and fair
dealings of the counsel with his client, opponent and witness, to establish a spirit of brotherhood
with bar.

Meaning, Nature and Need

Professional ethics are a set of norms or codes of conduct, set by people in a specific
profession. A code of ethics is developed for each profession. Suppose you write
articles in a newspaper. Professional ethics require that you verify facts before you
Write that article, isn’t it? Simply put, professional ethics for lawyers in India lay
down a set of guidelines, which defines their conduct in the profession that is highly
competitive and dynamic. Indian law requires lawyers to observe professional ethics
to uphold the dignity of the profession.
People are surprised when they hear that lawyers are expected to follow professional
ethics and that they are accountable for dishonest, irresponsible and unprofessional
behavior. Further, most people do not know that lawyers in India can lose the license
to practice if they are found guilty of unethical practices that tarnish the dignity of
their profession. A lawyer must adhere to the professional norms, for fair dealing with
his client and to maintain the dignity of the profession

The Bar Council of India is a statutory body that regulates and represents the Indian
bar. It was created by Parliament under the Advocates Act, 1961. It prescribes
standards of professional conduct and etiquette and exercises disciplinary jurisdiction.
It sets standards for legal education and grants recognition to Universities whose
degree in will serve as a qualification for students to enroll themselves as advocates
upon graduation.
Section 49(1)(c) of the Advocates Act, 1961 empowers the Bar Council of India to
make rules so as to prescribe the standards of professional conduct and etiquette to be
observed by the advocates. It has been made clear that such rules shall have only
when they are approved by the Chief Justice of India. It has been made clear that any
rules made in relation to the standards of professional conduct and etiquette to be
observed by the advocates and in force before the commencement of the Advocates
(Amendment) Act, 1973, shall continue in force, until altered or repealed or amended
in accordance with the provisions of this act.

Chapter II of part VI of the rules framed by the Bar Council of India deals with the
standards of professional conduct and etiquette. It contains several rules which lay
down the standards of professional conduct and etiquette. These rules specify the
duties of an advocate to the Court, client, opponent and colleagues, etc.


State Bar Council

Constitution : S.3 of the Advocates Act empowers for the creation of

State bar councils for every state. Number of members of the Bar Council
varies from state to state, depending upon the number of Advocates on the
State roll.
1. If the number of Advocates in the state roll is less then 5000 then
the number of Bar Council members are 15.
2. If the number of Advocates are 5000 to 10000 then the number of
Bar Council members are 20.
3. If the number of Advocates are more then 10000 then the number of
bar Council members are 25.
Members are elected by the Advocates whose names are there in the
state roll by a single transferrable vote. The members hold office for a
period of 5 years.
The Advocate General of the Concerned State is an ex-officio
member of the State Bar Council. So long as he is holding the office as
Advocate General he can act as the member of the Bar Council.

Powers: The State Bar Council is empowered with the following

1. It is body corporate.
2. It is a legal body having the autonomous status.
3. It has a common seal and perpetual succession.
4. It can do the following things in its own name. Buying and selling
properties, Entering into agreements, Filing cases.
5. It can constitute executive committee etc.
6. It can frame rules and regulations relating to day to day

Functions: Advocates Act empowers the State Bar Council to do the

following functions.
1. Enroll the qualified persons as Advocates.
2. Prepare the Advocates roll.
3. Take disciplinary action for professional misconduct.
4. Protect the rights and privileges of the Advocates.
5. Encourage law reforms. For this purpose it organize seminars, talks
and publish journals.
6. Constitute executive committee, enrolment committee, disciplinary
committee, legal aid committee etc.
7. Manage the funds of the Bar Council.
8. Conduct the election for electing the members of the State Bar
9. Prepare legal aid programmers and allot separate funds for the
implementation of such schemes.
10. Prepare Schemes for helping the poor Advocates and allot
separate funds for the implementation of such schemes.
11. Grant recognition to the law colleges.

12. Do all other acts which are necessary for the effective
implementation of the above said functions.



Constitution: The following persons are the members of the Bar

Council of India.
One member from each State Bar Councils. He will be elected by the
members of the respective State Bar Councils.
Attorney General of India-Ex Officio member.
Solicitor General of India-Ex officio member.
Ex-officio members will continue as members so long as they hold
the offices of Attorney General and Solicitor General posts. The
other members will continue as members so long they are
continuing as members of the State Bar Council.
Powers: Bar Council of India is empowered with the following powers.
1. It is a body corporate.
2. It is legal persons having the autonomus status.
3. It has a common seal and perpetual succession.
4. It can do the following things in its own name. Buying and selling properties, Entering into
agreements, Filing cases etc.
5. Transfer the name of the Advocate from one state roll to another state roll on his application.
6. It can constitute executive committee, disciplinary committee, legal aid committee etc.
7. To hear and decide appeal, review and revision against the orders of the disciplinary committee of
the State Bar Council.
8. Frame rules relating to day to day administration.
Functions: S.7 of the Advocates Act empowers the Bar Council of India to perform the following

1. Frame the rules relating to the professional ethics.

2. Frame the rules of procedure to be followed by the disciplinary committee of the State Bar Councils
and the Bar Council of India.
3. Protect the rights and the privileges of the Advocates.
4. Encourage legal reforms.
5. Decide the repute relating to professional misconduct which is transferred from the disciplinary
committee of the State Bar Council to the Bar Council of India.
6. Decide the appeal against the disciplinary committee of the State Bar Council.
7. Supervise the functions of the State Bar Council.
8. Prescribe the syllabus of the law course in consultation with the State Bar Councils and the
9. Inspect the universities for the purpose of giving recognition to the law degrees of the universities.
10. Spend the Funds of the Bar Council of India for the proper purposes.
11. Conduct elections for the purpose of electing its members.
12. Allow the persons studied abroad to practice in India.
13. Do all other acts which are necessary for the effective implementation of the above said function.


(RULE 1-10)

Duty towards court

In the administration of the justice, the role of the advocate is to help the court to take a right
decision in the dispute. While performing this job, an Advocate is duty bound to perform certain duties to the
court. Following are duties prescribed by the Bar Council rules as duty to the court, which should be
observed by the Advocates.

1. An Advocate shall show the due respect to the court and shall never act in any manner to undermine
the confidence in the judiciary.
2. He shall not exert or attempt to exert any personal influence on the decision of the court, nor shall
give any impression that he possesses personal influence with the judge before whom he normally
3. He shall be always punctual in attending courts in the prescribed dress.
4. He shall be fair and frank in the court proceedings.
5. He shall not include any fact which he knows to be false in the pleadings, petitions or affidavits.
6. He shall not ask for any adjournment of a case without genuine reasons.
7. He shall not communicate privately with the judges to influence them relating to any pending case.
8. He shall not speak ill of judges or use abusive remarks about them. But, if the judge behaves
improperly, it is not only the right but also his duty to report it to the proper authorities.
9. He shall not interrupt when the counsel for the otherside or the judge is speaking.
10. He shall appear in the court in the prescribed dress and his appearances shall always be presentable.
He shall not wear bands or gown in the public places.
11. He shall not practice before a judge if he is related to him.
12. He shall not act or plead in any matter in which he is pecuniarily(monetary) interested.
13. He shall not appear for any organization, institution, society or corporation if he is the member of the
executive committee of such organization, institution, society or corporation.


(RULE 11-33)

Duty towards Client

A client is entrusting a case with an Advocate because of his trust and confidence on him. In order to
honour this trust and confidence the Bar Council of India rules 11-33 prescribes the following duties as duty
to the client.
1. An Advocate is bound to accept a case in the courts or tribunals where he is normally practicing.
2. He shall not withdraw from a case which he has already accepted without sufficient reasons. He
shall not withdraw from the case merely because his fees has not been paid in full. He shall withdraw
from the case only after giving a reasonable notice to his client. After his withdrawal he must refund
such part of the fees which is in excess in his hand.
3. He shall not accept a case in which he has reason to believe that he will be called as witness. If he
already engaged in a case in which he is called as a witness then he should return the case. But, if his
retirement will cause irreparable loss to the client then he can continue to appear as a lawyer.
4. He must make full and frank disclosures to his client relating to his connection with the parties and
his interest in the controversy which may likely to affect his clients interest.
5. He should fearlessly uphold the interest of his client by fair and honourable means without the fear of
any pleasant consequences to himself or to any other person. He shall not refuse to appear for an
accused person merely because in his personal opinion the accused has committed the offence.
6. An Advocate appearing as a prosecution counsel shall be fair and shall not conduct the prosecution
with hostility to the accused to secure conviction. He should not obstruct the defence counsel in
placing the relevant material evidence to prove the innocence of the accused.
7. He shall not disclose any matter communicated to him in his professional capacity to any other
person without the consent of his client.
8. He shall not be a party to fomenting of litigation.
9. He should act at the instructions of his client and not at the instruction of any other person.
10. He shall not stipulate a fee depending on the success of the case or agree to share the proceeds of the
11. He shall not buy or agree to share the interest of the litigation.
12. He shall not directly or indirectly bid or purchase in his own name or in any other name any property
sold in execution of a decree in which he was engaged as a lawyer.
13. He shall not adjust fees payable to him by his client against his own personal liability to the client.
14. He shall not do anything whereby he abuses or takes advantage of the confidence reposed in him by
the client.
15. He should keep regular accounts of the clients money entrusted to him. The account should show the
particulars of the amount received from the client and the expenses incurred for him.
16. He should maintain separate accounts for the amount received for the fees and for the expenses. The
amount received for the expenses shall not be converted for fees without the consent of the client.
17. Where any amount received on behalf of the client (either from the court or from any other person)
it should be intimated to the client as early as possible.
18. After the proceedings are over, he shall take the settled fee from the client’s money in his hand and
the balance, if any should be returned to the client.
19. If the Advocates fee is left unsettled, he shall take a reasonable fee from the client’s money in his
hand, after the proceedings are over.
20. A copy of the clients account shall be furnished to him on demand.
21. He shall not convert the client’s money in his hand as loan given to him by the client.
22. He shall not lend money to his client for the purpose of any legal proceeding in which he is engaged
as the lawyer. But, any amount given to his client in an unanticipated emergency shall not be treated
as beach of this duty.
23. An Advocate who has advised or prepared the pleadings or appeared for a party in any suit or appeal
shall not act, appear or plead for the opposite party.

In addition to the above duties prescribed by the Bar Council of India an Advocate is expected to
perform the following duties also to the client.
1. He shall give advise to his client honestly and in good faith.
2. He shall prepare the case with due care and skill.
3. He shall submit all relevant documents before the court in support of the claim of his client.
4. He should attend the court on every day fixed for hearing of his client’s case.
5. He should return the whole fees received from his client, if he is not in a position to conduct the case.


Rule 34 &35 deals with the duties of an Advocate to the opponent party. They are as follows.

1. Rule 34 provides that an Advocate shall not in any way communicate or negotiate upon the subject
matter of dispute with the opposite party directly. For any reasons, If we want to communicate
anything then it should be done through his Advocate.
2. Rule 35 provides that an Advocate shall do his best to carry out all legitimate promises made to the
opposite party. Even if such promises are not in writing or not enforceable under the rules of the
court, he must try his level best to perform his promises.
3. He shall not use unfair and malicious tactics against the opponents.
4. He shall not abuse the rules of evidence and the process of the court in order to injure the opponent.
5. He shall not make baseless attacks on the reputation of the opponent or his witness or unduly harass
6. He may make concessions to the convenience of the opponent and his lawyer in fixing the date of

(RULE 36-40)

Every Advocate owes an obligation to uplift the profession to which he belongs. He must avoid, any
conduct that may lead to lower the standards of the profession. He shall never forget that he belongs to the
noble profession. Following are some of his important dutiesto the profession. These duties are incorporated
with the intention of raising the standards of the profession.

1. An Advocate shall not speak ill of the profession. He should conduct himself in such a way to
enhance respect, sympathy and good feeling between the members of the profession and strive to
maintain the honour and dignity of the profession.
2. He shall not discuss in the newspapers any pending case or appeal.
3. He shall not in any way solicit cases by advertisement or otherwise.
4. He shall not act or plead in his professional capacity before any officer of the state not exercising
judicial or quasi-judicial powers.
5. He shall not appoint intermediaries for procuring cases and divide the fees between them or pay
commission to them for such work.
6. He shall not entertain or show any undue hospitality to any particular judge.
7. He shall not place himself in the situation which may be unbecoming of a member of the bar.
8. He shall not oppose the desire of his client for additional professional help or assistance from other
lawyers also.
9. He must appear in robes in the court proceedings. He shall not wear robes or gown in public places
except on ceremonial occasion.
10. He shall not act as a managing Director or a secretary of a company without the leave of the Bar
11. He shall not work as a full time salaried employee.

12. He shall not do any other business. An advocate who inherits any family business may continue it,
but he should not personally participate in the management of the business.


Professional Misconduct

Misconduct means dereliction of duty. Professional misconduct means dereliction of duty relating to
Legal profession. Under S.35 of the Advocates Act, An Advocate is punishable not only for professional
misconduct but also for other misconduct. Other misconduct means a misconduct not directly connected
with the legal profession.

Professional misconduct arises as a result of serious dereliction of duties to the court, to the client, to
the opponent, to the colleagues, to the profession, to the public etc. Following are some of the instances of
professional misconduct.

1. Making false allegation against judicial officers.

2. Deliberately lodging groundless criminal complaint.
3. Making groundless and insulting charges against witness.
4. Refusing to accept a case without justification.
5. Attending court proceedings in drunken state.
6. Attempting to influence judicial officers for favour.
7. Carrying on other trade or business.
8. Committing crimes.
9. Financing litigation.
10. Obtaining client’s signature on blank papers.
11. Shouting slogans or holding demonstration in front of the court.
12. Approaching investigative officers for favour during investigation of a case.
13. Writing letter to the presiding officer in connection with the pending case.
14. Tampering with the witness
15. Suggesting the client to bribe the presiding officer.
16. Moving application before any court or authority before informing that a similar application has
been presented before any authority or rejected by any authority.
17. An exclusively retained pleader accepting a case against the client from the opposite party.
18. Failure to appear in the proceedings of a case without any sufficient reason.
19. Retaining the judgement of the trial court with the intention of getting himself getting himself
engaged in appeal.
20. Presenting the plaint with in sufficient court fee stamp, when the client has given money for the court
21. Alleging partiality against presiding officer in open court.
22. Tampering with records and documents.
23. Writing letters to persons for soliciting cases.
24. Reporting no instructions from his client and subsequently appearing for the opposite party in the
same suit.
25. Advertising about his profession.
26. Taking advantage of the ignorance and illiteracy of the clients, demanding money from them on false
representations that is required for court purposes and misappropriating the same.
27. Misappropriation of decreed amount payable to the client.
28. Giving wrong advise to the client.
29. Taking money from the client for the purpose of giving bribe.
30. Suppression of truth.
31. Changing sides.
32. Indecent cross examination.
33. Committing contempt of court.
34. False identifications of deponents.
35. Gross negligence involving moral turpitude.
36. Appearing without authority ie. On forged vakalath.
37. Failure to attend the trial.
38. Attesting forged affidavit.
39. Abstaining from appearing in court on the ground of strike called by the Bar association.
40. Misleading the court resulting in eronious order.

Punishment for misconduct

The Disciplinary committee of the State Bar Council after hearing the Advocate concerned and the
Advocate general comes to the conclusion that the misconduct is proved that it may pass any of the following
orders, namely

(i) Reprimand the Advocate.

(ii) Suspend the Advocate from the practice for such period as it thinks fit.
(iii) Remove the name of the Advocate from the Advocates Roll.
Punishment may be awarded depending on the gravity of misconduct established against him. The
punishment to remove from the Advocates Roll is awarded only in the cases where the misconduct is of such
nature that the Advocate is unworthy of remaining in the profession.
Where an Advocate is suspended from the practice he shall not practice in any court or tribunal or
any authority or person during the suspended period.
Where notice is issued to the Advocate general, he may appear before the disciplinary committee in
person or through any Advocate appearing on his behalf. If the misconduct is not proved beyond reasonable
doubt then the disciplinary committee shall dismiss the petition.
Remedies against the order of punishment
1. Appeal to the Bar council of India (s 37): Any person aggrieved by the order of the disciplinary
committee of the State Bar Council, or the Advocate general of the State may within 60 days from the date of
the order may prefer an appeal to the Bar Council of India.
The appeal shall be filed in person or through by Advocate or by registered post. He must submit 5
copies of appeal memorandum along with the attested copy of the order of the State Bar Council.
Such appeal shall be heard by the disciplinary committee of the Bar Council of India and after
hearing it may pass any order it deems fit ie., it can confirm. The order of the State Bar Council, or increase
or reduce the punishment, or totally remove the punishment.
2. Appeal to the Supreme Court : Any person aggrieved by an order made by the Disciplinary
committee of the Bar Council of India, or the Attorney General of India may within 60 days from the date of
order prefer an appeal to the Supreme court. The Supreme Court after hearing the parties concerned shall
pass any order as it thinks fit.
Normally, the Supreme court will not interfere with the concurrent findings of fact by the disciplinary
committee of the Bar Council of India and the State Bar Council. If the finding is based on no evidence then
the court will examine it.
3. Stay of the order: For the convenience of filing an appeal against the order of the State Bar
Council or the Bar Council of India, the aggrieved party can file an application before the concerned Bar
Council which has passed the order to stay the order still appeal is filed. If genuine grounds are there then
the concerned Bar Council can stay the order.
Similarly, after filing the appeal before the Bar council of India or before the Supreme Court the
aggrieved party can ask for the stay of the order still the disposal of the appeal. If the genuine grounds are
there then the Bar Council or Supreme Court shall stay the order still the disposal of the appeal.
Review of its own order by the State Bar Council
According to S.44, the Disciplinary committee of a State Bar council is empowered to review its own
order either on its own motion or an application by the aggrieved party within 60 days from the date of
In the review proceedings also the State Bar council will hear the concerned parties before making
any order.
Any order passed in review by the disciplinary committee of the state Bar Council shall have effect
only when it is approved by the Bar Council of India.
The Disciplinary committee of the Bar Council of India has no power to review its own order (S.48
Disciplinary Committee of the State Bar Council
Organaisation: S.9 of the Advocates Act empowers the state Bar Councils to constitute one or more
Disciplinary Committees. Each Disciplinary Committee shall consists of 3 members. Two shall be selected
from the members of the Bar Council and one shall be selected from the Advocates who are having more
than 10 years of standing in profession. Among the three members the senior most in the profession shall act
as the chairman of the committee.
Powers : S.42 of the Advocates Act deals with the power of Disciplinary committee. It provides that
the Disciplinary Committee of the State Bar Council shall have the same powers same like the civil court
under the C.P.C. in respect of the following matters.

1. Summoning and enforcing the attendence of any person and examining him on oath.
2. Requiring discovery and production of any documents.
3. Receiving evidence on affidavit.
4. Requiring any public record or copies of any record from any court or office.

5. Issuing commissions for the examinations of witness or documents.

The disciplinary committee has no right to require the attendance of the following presons.
(i) Any presiding officer of the court.
(ii) Any officer of the revenue court.
A presiding officer of a court shall be summoned to attend the proceedings of the Disciplinary
Committee with permission of the High Court and an officer of the revenue court shall be summoned with
the permission of the State Govt.
All the proceedings before the Disciplinary Committee of a Bar Council shall be deemed to a judicial
proceedings within the meaning of S.193 & 228 of I.P.C and every such disciplinary Committee shall be
deemed to be a civil court.
Enquiry Procedure: The main function of the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council is to
enquire the complaints of professional misconduct against the Advocates award suitable punishments. In the
enquiry the following procedures prescribe under S.35 of the Advocates Act should be followed.
1. On perusal of the complaint, if the Bar council is satisfied that it is a fit case for enquiry then the
complaint shall be referred for enquiry to the Disciplinary Committee.
2. The Disciplinary Committee shall fix a date for enquiry and shall send notice to the concerned
Advocate and the Advocate General of the State.
3. The Advocate charged with the professional misconduct shall appear in person or through the
Lawyer. Similarly, the Advocate general also appear in person or through a lawyer.
4. The Disciplinary Committee should complete the enquiry proceedings within one year from the date
of receipt of the complaint. Due to any reason, if the enquiry was not completed within one year
then the complaint should be referred to the Bar Council of India for its disposal.
5. During the pendency of the enquiry if the term of the Disciplinary Committee comes to an end then
the successor committee shall continue the enquiry.
6. After the enquiry due to the lack of majority opinion or otherwise if the Disciplinary Committee was
unable to take a final decision then they shall seek the opinion of the chairman of the bar council and
shall pass the final order following his opinion.



Bar Bench Relations

The court hall where cases are conducted consists of two parts namely:
(i) The place where the judges sit is called as Bench
(ii) The place where the Advocate sit is called as Bar.
So the term `Bench’ refers to the judges and the `Bar’ refers to the Advocates. Bar-Bench relation means
the cardial relation between the judges and the Advocates.
The faith on the judiciary to the general public and the speedy justice mainly depends on the cardial
relation between the judges and the Advocates. In the Administration of justice the role of Advocates are also
equally important just like the judges. Rendering justice is their joint responsibility. Without the help of
Advocates, it is very difficult for the judges to arrive a correct decision in a dispute.
If good relation exists between exists between the judges and Advocates then delay in rendering justice
and high expences for getting justice can be very much reduced. To strengthen the good relation both should
have some good qualities and mutual responsibilities.
Role of the Bar to Strengthen Bar-Bench Relation
To strengthen the Bar-Bench relation, the Advocates must take the following steps.
1. They should give the due respect to the judges and they must avoid speaking ill of the judges and the
2. They should help the judges in the trial of the cases by presenting the relevant law in the correct and
clear manner. They should never act in such away to irritate the judges.
3. If the judges pronounces a wrong order, they should not criticize the judges. They should try to set
right the wrong order through appeal.
4. For getting favourable order they should not give pressure or influence the judges.
5. If the judges behavior is irritating and disrespect to the Advocates should not enter in to a direct
confrontation with the judge. Through the Bar Association the matter should be discussed with the
judge in his chamber and shall request to avoid such misbehavior.(see generally the Duties to the
court at p 16)
Role of the Bench to Strengthen Bar –Bench Relation
Only when Bar-Bench relations are strengthened, people will get confidence and fair on the Judiciary. To
strengthen Bar-Bench relation the Judges should follow and practice the following.
1. Judicial Respect: Just like the Advocates are giving respect to the Judges the Judges should also give
to the Advocates and the brethren Judges.
2. Patient Hearing: Judges should hear the case with open and respective mind without any prejudice or
bias. They should act only to the interest of justice. They should give sufficient opportunity for the
Advocates to present the case in full.
3. Impartiality: Judges should act impartialy. They should not act in favour of any Advocate or a party to
the dispute.
4. Avoidance of Interruptions: As far a possible, Judges must avoid interruptions while the Advocate is
examining witnesses and arguing the case.
Unwarrented interference and adverse comments by the Judges may upset the Advocates and thereby he
may not be able to present the case properly. This may cause the failure of justice.
Interference may be limited to the following circumstances(i)to prevent repetition and waste of time(ii)to
check the relevancy(iii)to get clarifications (iv)to express courts view on a point and (v)to promote speedy
disposal of the case.
5. Proper Interpretation: During the process of administration of justice, often the courts have to
interpret the Act, Rules, Orders and Notifications in order to ascertain the actual meaning of the provisions
or to remove the ambiguity or inconsistency. In such cases proper interpretation should be given with the
object of rendering complete justice to the parties.
6. Avoidance of Unreasonable Adjournments: Adjournments are given to afford reasonable opportunity
to the parties to present the case. As far as possible cases shall not be adjourned without reasonable and
sufficient grounds . Unreasonable adjournment is the main reason for the mounting arrears of cases and it
causes hardship to the parties.
7. Speedy Disposal: `Justice delayed is justice denied’, hence cases should be disposed off as quickly as
possible. When preference is given for disposal of old cases, care should be given to see that new cases
should not get into arrears.
8.Avoiding Unwarranted comments: Judges should not make any unwarranted comments in the open
court about the Advocates lack of knowledge in the law. They should not ask any Advocate to leave the court,
without sufficient reasons. Similarly, they should not ask any Advocate not to come to his court hereafter.
9.Knowing in Law: Judges should possess deep knowledge in law. They should have the ability to apply
the proper law to the disputed facts and to take the right decision.
10. Independence: Judges have the primary responsibility to protect and preserve the independence of
judiciary, hence they should not yield to the pressure of the Government.
11. Integrity: A Judge should be honest and morally upright. He should have personal and intellectual
integrity. His character and conduct should be praise worthy. Then only the Advocates and the general public
will have confidence on him.
12.Industriousness: It means regular and systematic hard work and study. A Judge should get acquainted
with the latest developments and changes in the law by regular updating of the knowledge.
13. Meeting of Judges and Lawyers: To strengthen Bar-Bench relation, at regular intervals meeting of
judges and the Advocates shall be arranged. In such meetings the respective sides difficulties can be
discussed and the differences can be sorted out.


Object of the Act: The main object of the contempt of court Act is to protect the dignity and
decorum of the court and to uphold the majesty of law. The object is not to protect the judges from criticism.
By providing punishment for contempt of the court the ability to deliver fearless and impartial justice is
Definition: The definition given in the Act for the term contempt of court is not exhaustive. it is
difficult to define it by words, because the scope of contempt of court is very wide. Contempt means
(i)Any disrespect to the authority of law.

(ii) Disobedience of the order of the court.

(iii) Disturbance to the proceedings of the court.

Types: Following are the types of contempt (i) Civil contempt and(ii)Criminal contempt.
Civil contempt
S.2(b)defines the term `civil contempt ’.`It means (i)Willful disobedience to any
judgemaent,decree,direction,order,writ or other process of a court;or(ii)Willful breach of an undertaking
given to a court.
For taking action for civil contempt on the ground of willful disobedience of court order, it should be
established that the court which has passed the order has jurisdiction to pass such order. Disobedience of an
order passed without jurisdiction is not a Contempt must prove that the court has no jurisdiction.
A willful breach of an unconditional undertaking given orally or in writing either in person or
through his Advocate will be treated as civil contempt. When undertakings are given orally , the court shall
record it in the proceedings.
Breach of a compromise entered in the court cannot be treated as civil contempt. The remedy in such
cases is only a civil suit for specific performance of the promise.
Punishment: S.12 prescribes the punishment for contempt. court may award any one of the
following punishments.
(i) Simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to 6 months.
(ii) Fine which may extend to Rs.2000/-.
(iii)Both the punishment ie., Imprisonment and fine together.
Criminal contempt
S.2C defines the term `criminal contempt’. It means
(i) Publication of any matter (by words, spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representation or
(ii) Doing of any other act which
(a) Scandalises or tenda to scandalide, or lowers or tends to lower the authority of any court; or
(b) Prejudices or interferes or tends to interfere with the due course of judicial proceeding; or
(c) Interferes or tends to interfere with, or obstructs or tends to obstruct the Administration of justice.
Publication means publishing something orally or in writing through news paper, pamplets, radio,
television or cinema. conversation between two persons cannot be treated as publication.
To decide criminal contempt, the absence of criminal intention on the part of the person who has
published the matter containing criminal contempt or done the act of contempt will not be taken into account.
In E.M.S.Nambothribad v.T.N.Mambiar (AIR 1970 SC 2015) the then Chief Minister of Kerala,
Mr.Nambothribad in a press meet expressed the following about judiciary. judiciary is responsible for the
suppression of people. Judges are favouring some class of people and working against the other classes.
Judiciary is acting against the interest of working class and the agriculturist. judiciary is helping the
oppressor group. The supreme court held that the act of Mr. Nambothribad amounts to criminal contempt.
Making complaint against a Judge about his misconduct with sufficient evidence to the higher
authorities is not a contempt. But, the same complaint is published in any manner then it amounts to
Preventing the court Amin from executing the court order, Threatening an Advocate not to appear in
a particular case, Threatening the witness, Preventing the witnesses from attending the courts, Preventing the
Commissioner from performing his duties are treated as criminal contempt.(see D.C. Saxina v. Chief Justice
of India at P 67).
Punishment: Punishment for the criminal contempt is same like civil contempt.(see p 36)
Punishment for contempt
S.12 Prescribes the punishment for contempt of court. punishment is same for the civil as well as the
criminal contempt. If the charge of contempt of court is proved, the Court shall award any one of the
following punishment.
1.Simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to 6 months.
2.Fine which may extend to Rs.2000/-.
3.Both the punishments ie., imprisonment and fine together.
According to S.12(2),For contempt of court any one of the above mentioned punishment alone can
be given and not any other punishment alone can be given and not any other punishment. But, in Delhi
Judicial Services Association v. State of Gujarat (AIR 1991 SC 2176)the Supreme Court held punishment
not mentioned in S.12 can also be given for contempt of court.

In Re Vinay Chandra Mishra (AIR 1995 SC2348)the supreme court held that for contempt of court
committed by an Advocate, he shall be suspended from practice for a fixed period or he shall be permanently
restrained from practice.

The Supreme Court Bar Association has filed a review petition against this order. In which the
supreme court held that for contempt of court the court cannot cancel the Advocates right to practice. But, he
shall be suspended from practice for a fixed period.

For the civil contempt, normally fine alone will be imposed. If the court thinks that fine alone is not
a sufficient punishment then he shall be put in the civil prison instead of ordinary imprisonment.

If the contempt of court is committed by a company in collusion of the Directors, Secretary and
other Managerical staff then shall be detained in the civil prison.

If the contempt is committed by a firm then the punishment shall be enforced against the partners of
the firm.
Defences in Criminal Contempt

Criminal Contempt not Punishable

S.3 to 7 deals with the defences avilable in Criminal Contempt. They are as follows:
1.Innocent Publication(S.3):A person shall not be guilty of contempt of court if he had made any
innocent publication of any matter pending before a court without knowing that the mater is pending a court.
The person charge with contempt must prove that publication is made without knowing that the Matter is
pending in the court.
2.Publication Relating to a Decided Case (S.3(2)):Publication about the decided case is not a
contempt since the case is already decided by the court, the publication is not going to interfere with the
disposal of the case. that is why it is not treated as contempt.
3.Distribution of publication without knowing that it contains contempt of court Matter(S.3(3)): If a
person distributes and publication without knowing that it contains contempt of court matter then it cannot be
treated as contempt. If the publication does not contain the name and address of the Author, publisher and
printer then this defence cannot be used by the person distributing such publications.
4.Fair and Accurate Reporting of Judicial Proceedings(S.4): Fair and accurate reporting of judicial
proceedings is not a contempt. This is because we are following the principle of openness in the matter of
administration of justice.
The following reporting of judicial proceedings though it is fair and accurate it will be treated as
contempt of court.
1.Reporting of the proceedings against any law which is in force.
2.Reporting of the proceedings when the court has prohibited the reporting in the interest of the general
3.Reporting of the proceedings conducted in the judges chamber in the interest of defence of public
4.Reporting of information relating to secret process, discovery or invention which is an issue in the
5. Fair Criticism of Judicial Act(S.5): A proper and fair comment on a decision is not a contempt of
court. Criticism is permitted to the extent where it does not interfere with the administration of justice. So, it
is open to any one to express fair, reasonable and legitimate criticism of a judicial decision.
6. Bonafide Complaint against the Presiding Officers of a subordinate court(S.6): A bonafide
complaint made in good faith against the presiding officer of a subordinate court to the higher authorities,
who have control over such subordinate court, is not a contempt.
7. No Substantial Interference with the Administration of Justice: It means an act which is technically a
contempt but such act does snot substantially interfere with the administration of justice. For such acts no
punishment is awarded.
Defences in the Civil Contempt


Civil Contempt not Punishable

Following are some of the important defences available to a person charged with civil contempt.
1. Disobedience of the Order is Not Willful: If the disobedience of the order is accidental or which is
not willful then it’s a good defence in a civil contempt proceedings.
2. The Order Passed Without Jurisdiction: If the order passed by the court is without jurisdiction then
the disobedience or violation of such order cannot be treated as contempt of court.
An order passed without jurisdiction is void, hence it won’t bind any person. The person charged with
contempt must prove that the court has no jurisdiction to pass such order.
3. Order Disobeyed is Vague or Ambiguous: An order is treated as vague if it is not clear, specific and
complete. For violation of such order contempt proceedings cannot be taken.
4. Order Involves More than One Reasonable Interpretation: If the order of the court involves more
than reasonable interpretation, and one interpretation is adopted by the party and acted in accordance
with such interpretation then he cannot be held liable for contempt of court for not following the order
5. Compliance with the Order is Impossible: Impossibility means that the implementation of the order
is practically not possible .impossible is different from mere difficulty. Mere difficulty is not a defence.
The person charged with contempt must prove the impossibility of compliance with the order.
In Amar Singh v.K.P Geatha Krishnan(1993,I SCR 465)the court has passed on order to give some
benefits to the retired employees. This order was not implemented. In the contempt proceeding it was argued
that the implementation of the order involves huge expenditure hence compliance with the order is
impossible. The court has not accepted this defence.
6.No Knowledge of the Order: A person cannot be held liable for civil contempt, if he has no
knowledge about the order. If he has knowledge about the order, through it is not officially communicated to
him, then he cannot put this defence for violation of the order.
Contempt against Subordinate Court
The Contempt of court Act, 1971 confers power only to the Supreme Court and High Courts to try the
contempt of court and award suitable punishment.
Contempt of court against the subordinate courts shall be tried by the High court. The concerned
subordinate court or the Advocate General of the state shall file the petition before the High court. In the
Union Territories, the officer authorized in this behalf shall file the petition.
A contempt which comes within the definition of S.228 of I.P.C. shall be tried and punished by the
subordinate courts.
S.228: When judicial proceedings are going on, a person causing disturbance to the proceedings and
thereby shows disrespect to the court shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may
extend to 6 months or with a fine which may extend to Rs.1000/-or with both.
In the trial of such cases the court shall follow the procedure laid down in S.345 & 346 of Criminal
procedure Code. This section deals with summary procedure. So the court shall follow summary procedure
and no detailed enquiry is needed.
Contempt Procedure in the Supreme

Court or the High Court

The Contempt of the court Act confers the following two types of powers to the supreme court and the
High courts with regard to contempt of court.
1.Power to punish a person who has committed contempt of court inside the court(S.14).
2.Power to punish a person who has committed contempt of court outside the court(S.15).
1. Contempt of Court Inside the Court: When judicial proceedings are going on, if it appears to the
court that a person is guilty of contempt of court in their presence then the court shall take the following
(i) Pass an order to arrest the person.
(ii) Give a notice in writing immediately regarding the charges against him.
(iii) Offered him opportunity to make his defence to the charge.
(iv) Take such evidence as may be necessary or as may be offered by such person and hear him.
During the trial, if the person charged with contempt applies either orally or in writing, for a trial by
some other judge other than the judge in whose presence the alleged contempt is committed then the request
along with the statement of facts of the alleged contempt shall be placed before the Chief Justice shall be
taken as evidence.
If the case is transferred to some other Judge then the judge in whose presence the alleged contempt was
committed need not appear as witness. The facts submitted by him to the Chief Justice shall be taken as
During the pendency of the proceedings, the person charged with contempt shall be detained in such
custody as the court may specify. He may be released on bail with or without sureties or on a self bond as the
court thinks fit.
In Sugdev Singh v. Deeja Singh(AIR 1954 SC 186)the supreme court has advised that to the extent
possible, the judge in whose presence the alleged contempt was committed, must avoid to conduct the trial by
2.Contempt of Court Outside the Court: The supreme court or the High Court shall take action for
contempt of court committed outside the court in the following situations.
(i) On its own motion.
(ii) On a petition made by the Advocate General(in relation to the High Court)( or the Attorney General or
the solicitor General(in relation to the Supreme Court).
(iii) On a petition by any other person(if consent is given in writing to file such petition by the Advocate
General or Attorney General or Solicitor General as the case may be).
A person cannot file a contempt of court petition without the consent of the Advocate General or the
Attorney General or the Solicitor General. After Admitting a petition the court shall follow the following
1.Notice shall be sent to the person charged with contempt.
2.Person charged with contempt shall be allowed to submit his defence in an affidavit.
3.The trial shall be conducted by persuing the defences submitted by him or taking such other evidences
as may be necessary.
4.The trial shall be conducted by a bench consisting of two judges.
5.If the court feels that the person charged with contempt may abscond then his properties shall be
Limitation: The limitation period for filing a petition for contempt of court is one year. After one year
even the court cannot take action on its own motion(s.20).