The Advocates Act, 1961 by Anju Esther Balakrishnan at LEXCLIQ.

The Advocate Acts provide forth the legal foundation for legal practitioners, as well as the rules for forming Bar Councils and an All-India Bar. Essentially, the Act lays down the process for registering with state-level bar councils, as well as the qualifications required to practice law. The Bar Council of India is the highest authority that establishes registration rules and regulations. It also establishes the level of excellence that a legal organization can achieve.

The Advocates Act, 1961 is an updated version of the Indian Bar Council Act, 1926, or it might be said that it has superseded it. The Indian parliament passes legislation with the goal of creating rules for legal practitioners. The Bar Council of India created the Bar Council of India Rules, which describe the sorts of rules that apply to practice or the required criteria for legal education, with an emphasis on professional misconduct, under the power provided by the act.

Characteristics of the Act

The following are the salient features of this act:

  1. As a result of this act, the Bar Council of India and State Bar Councils were established.
  2. Any supporter may not serve on more than one State Board, however, he may be transferred between them
  3. The Bar Council has been given self-government.
  4. It was specified that comparable Advocates’ lists be developed all throughout the world.
  5. It also had provisions for compiling all of the legislation of the legal system into a single text.
  6. Different regulations for the Bar Council have been adopted at both the state and federal levels.
  7. Various titles such as lawyer and vakil were removed in favor of a single title of Advocate, as previously indicated.

Who is an Advocate under the Advocates Act, 1961?

Under the terms of this Act, an advocate may be entered on any roll. The Legal Practitioners Act had multiple classifications of legal practitioners before this Act. Advocates, attorneys, vakils, and other professionals were among them. These classifications were eliminated by the Advocates Act, which recognized just one type of advocate. On the basis of merit, they are classed as “Senior Advocates” or “Other Advocates.” With the advocate’s approval, the High Court or Supreme Court grants the rank of Senior Advocate. Only advocates who are on the “Common roll” are permitted to practice in the Supreme Court, as well as any other court, tribunal, or other body where an advocate is permitted to practice.

Misconduct of Advocates

A State Bar Council has the ability to penalize Advocates for their misbehavior under Section 35 of the Advocates Act, 1961. As a result, if an Advocate commits an act that may result in disciplinary action being taken against him, the event is reported to the State Bar Council and referred to the Disciplinary Committee. When a procedure is started against a specific Advocate, notification is sent to the Advocate in question as well as the State’s Advocate General. Now, as in any other instance, the State Bar Council has the option of suspending the Advocate’s license to practice, among other things. Another alternative that the State Bar Council might consider is dismissing the complaint. Other actions that the State Bar Council may take include reprimanding the advocate or prohibiting the advocate from practicing for as long as the Bar Council sees proper. In the event that the Advocate is suspended, he will not be permitted to practice before any authority or person in India for the time being.

The Advocates Act covers a variety of provisions, including rules and regulations, rights, and sanctions for an advocate in various situations. The Act’s goal is to unite and produce a single class of legal practitioners known as “Advocates,” by mandating a common bar qualification and establishing an All India Bar Council and State Bar Councils.

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