BCI mulls ban on practice by lawmakers


Mains Paper 2: Polity | Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: How the issue is affecting Fundamental Rights, and the issue of conflict of interest

What is the issue?

  1. A petition was filed in Supreme Court contended that MPs and MLAs draw their salaries from the Consolidated Fund of India, hence, are “employees of the state”
  2. The BCI Rule 49 restricts a salaried employee from practising as an advocate, the petition said
  3. Many senior advocates practising in the Supreme Court are also party politicians and sitting MPs

Conflict of interest

  1. Some of the lawmakers(MPs and MLAs) even hold corporate retainer-ships
  2. They appear against the State to defend their lawbreaker clients in the Court of Law, which is the matter of conflict of interest

Issue of Fundamental Rights

  1. Under Section 21 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 2(c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, MLAs and MPs are public servants
  2. Hence, allowing them to practice, as an advocate and restricting other public servants is arbitrary, irrational and violation of Articles 14-15 of the Constitution
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