Bill ready to bar tainted lawyers from becoming judges: Moily


New Delhi : The Judges’ Standards and Accountability Bill envisages creation of a data bank of legal professionals to ensure that no professional with dubious antecedent is appointed as a judge in higher judiciary, said Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily Wednesday.

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Moily said the bill, presently being examined by a group of ministers, would be introduced in the next session of parliament.

Talking to reporters after a news conference, convened to announce the launch of “a national consultation” for the “Second Generation Reform in Legal Education”, the minister disclosed that his ministry was also working on a separate bill on the appointment process for judges.

The national consultation, to be held May 1-2, will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan attending the function at Vigyan Bhawan here.

The consultation will identify the major challenges in the field of legal education and draw a roadmap for reforms, said Moily.

He said: “India presently faces major challenges in the field of legal education to respond to global challenges.”

“Despite having emerged as a leading global hub for the knowledge-based service industry, the country still needs a revolution to respond to global challenges in providing services particularly by lawyers,” said the minister.

The minister also underlined the need to amend the Advocates Act, 1961, which empowers the Bar Council of India to regulate legal education in India, besides exercising disciplinary jurisdiction over lawyers.

“At present, legal education is being imparted by 913 colleges recognised by the Bar Council of India and 14 national law universities established under various state laws,” said Moily.

“Though the BCI has made rules under the Advocates Act to regulate legal education, the standard of education does not meet the present day requirement of the legal profession,” Moily added.

He said Law Commission of India has also recommended various changes to streamline legal education.