Bar Associations, Advocates Cannot Conduct Any Religious Functions In Chambers Corridors, Parking Or Within Court Premises: Bar Council Of Delhi

The Special Disciplinary Committee of Bar Council of Delhi has ordered that all Bar Associations and Advocates cannot conduct any religious functions or programs in chamber corridors, parking area or within the prescints of Court premises.

The order has come in the disciplinary proceedings against an Advocate for allegedly using his chamber premises for religious conversion and performing of Nikah. The lawyer’s license was temporarily suspended by the Council as an interim measure until the finding of the Disciplinary Committee after observing that the said “illegal and anti social activities” negates the dignity of the legal profession.

In the complaint filed by a man, it was alleged that his daughter was forcefully converted as a Muslim and was thereafter married in his chamber in Karkardooma Court, which was shown as a Mosque in the documents.

The Chairman of the Delhi Bar Council had ordered for constitution of a Special Disciplinary Committee comprising of 3 members to immediately investigate the entire matter to save the dignity and credibility of the institution since the alleged Nikah has taken place within the precincts of Karkardooma Court and that too in a lawyers’ chamber.

Findings of Disciplinary Committee

The Committee was of the view that although the lawyer had denied having any connection withthe conversion of religion or performing of Nikah in the chamberor at the seat, it was unbelievable that he had no knowledge or information about the fact that the seat was being mentioned in the Nikahnama.

“As such, they cannot escape the responsibility completely and wash their hands off,” the order reads.

“At the same time, sincethere is no evidence of their involvement, we may take a lighterview to issue warning to both of them not to use or allowchamber or seat for any such purpose,” it added.

While doing so, the Committee expressed its concern about the use of court premises for suchreligious activities of conversion of religion and performing of Nikah ceremonies.

“The court premises have its own sanctity established under the Constitution of India performing public functions in discharge of administration of justice, as such, no part thereof can be used for any such religious activities or performance of ceremonies. The Courts being a Sentinel of justice delivery system, is a temple of justice and not a Mosque, Church or temple for performance of religious functions or activities,” it said.

The Committee said that such activities may not constitute professional misconduct, but would certainly be a misconduct within the meaning of section 35 of the Advocates Act, 1961 to be addressed by the State Bar Council.

“We may note that if such activities are not nipped at the bud, thecourts as well the legal profession will lose its sanctity, dignityand credibility and would turn into a place for rampant religiousactivities and programs, which cannot be permitted, as such,while so far as two advocates are concerned, suffice, would be to issue the necessary warning to them and at the same time, we make it clear that so far as the Bar Associations and Advocates are concerned, it cannot conduct any religious functions or programs/activities in the chambers corridors, parking or any other place within the precincts of court premises,” the order reads.

Accordingly, the Committee dismissed the complaintwhile withdrawing the order for suspension of Enrolment and Sealingof Chamber.