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Bar Council of Delhi issues notice to Prashant Bhushan

Weeks after activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan was convicted of contempt of court for his tweets against CJI SA Bobde and four former CJIs, the Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) has asked him to explain why proceedings should not be initiated to revoke his enrolment as a lawyer.

In its September 18 decision, the BCD asked Bhushan to appear either personally or through video conferencing on October 23 at 4 pm. He has been given 15 days to respond from the date of receiving the BCD notice. The BCD notice became public after Bhushan tweeted about it.

As a state bar council, it’s the BCD that has issued a licence to Bhushan authorizing him to practice law.

Invoking Section 24A (Disqualification for enrolment) and Section 35 of the Advocates Act, 1961, the BCD asked Bhushan to explain why disqualification proceedings “not initiated against you in view of your tweets in question and conviction under Suo moto Contempt Petition by the Supreme Court of India.”

The Supreme Court had on August 31 ordered him to pay a fine of Re 1 by September 15 for contempt of court, failing which he will be sent to jail for three months and debarred from practicing before it for three years.

The Bar Council of India (BCI) — which regulates the legal profession in India — had earlier directed the BCD Bar to “examine” the Supreme Court’s decision convicting Bhushan of contempt of court and proceed as per law and rules “as expeditiously as possible”.

He had paid the Re 1 fine on September 14 and filed a petition seeking review of the top court’s verdict convicting him of scandalizing the judiciary by his controversial tweets.

“Just because I’m paying the fine does not mean I have accepted the verdict,” Bhushan – who is also facing another criminal contempt case—had said.