He reportedly informed the Bar Council that he was not aware that the degree was only sufficient for ‘academic purposes’, and not for employment. He was quoted as lamenting that, “ It is not fair and justified to cancel enrollment as advocate of a person who was in judicial service for more than 25 years, including 21 years as judicial magistrate .”
Speaking to Bar & Bench , Chairman of the Bar Council and Advocate General of the state Vijay Narayan said that it may not be possible to take action against Natarajan as far as his completed tenure as a Magistrate is concerned. Such action can only be taken by the High Court.
However, given that he started practice as an advocate, his enrollment may stand cancelled, after due process, if required. The Council will make its decision once it hears Natarajan’s reply to the show cause notice. This development comes amidst fresh verification measures being undertaken by the state Bar Council to weed out fake lawyers. The issue recently came to forefront when Justice N Kirubakaran of the Madras High Court took cognizance of it.
The state Bar Council had recently issued show cause notices to 742 advocates found to be practicing without complying with the BCI’s Legal Education Rules, 2008. Consequently, the 742 advocates were effectively banned from further practice, pending disposal of the disciplinary proceedings. Protesting the same, a PIL was heard recently by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar of the Madras High Court. After hearing preliminary submissions, the Bench ordered that the suspended advocates cannot be barred from practice without first giving them an opportunity to be heard.
With the exception of this stipulation, the Court found no reason to interfere with the impugned Bar Council resolution. It was held that the Bar Council had inherent powers to take action against those found practicing against the prescribed rules. However, the Council was directed not to take any adverse action against the affected advocates without the leave of the Court. The Bar Council is currently in the process of preparing a counter in the case. Given the gravity of the issue, it may request that the First Bench hear it early on an urgent basis. In the course of hearing challenges made to the Bar Council of India Certificate and Place of Practice (Verification) Rules 2015, the Supreme Court had kick-started the road to verifying lawyers' certificates.
Source – barandbench.com