THE Bar Council of India(BCI) has notified new rules prohibiting advocates from making any statement against any court, judge, any member of the judiciary, state bar Council or the Bar Council of India in the print, electronic or on social media, which is indecent or derogatory, defamatory or motivated, malicious or mischievous.
The amended rules state-
i) No Member of any State Bar Council or of Bar Council of India shall be permitted to publish anything or to make any Statement or Press-Release in Print, Electronic or Social Media against any Resolution or Order of concerned State Bar Council or Bar Council of India or to make/use any derogatory or abusive language/comment/s/ word/s against the Bar Council or its office-bearers or members.
(ii) The Decision of any State Bar Council or Bar Council of India shall not be criticized or attacked by any Member/s of Bar Council in public domain.
(iii) No Advocate or any Member of any State Bar Council or the Bar Council of India shall undermine the dignity or authority of the State Bar Council or Bar Council of India.
A violation of the rule will invite misconduct proceedings against the errant advocate. The rules, however, state that healthy and bona-fide criticism made in good faith, will not be treated as “misconduct”.