GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Law and Justice
Department of Legal Affairs
STARRED QUESTION NO.'12
TO BE ANSWERED ON MONDAY THE 1ST AUGUST, 2011
Ombudsman for Legal Sector
*12. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR:
Will the Minister of LAW AND JUSTICE be pleased to state:
(a) Whether Government is working on a Bill that envisages an Ombudsman to look into the complaints against lawyers and a Legal Services Board that would regulate law practices In the country;
(b) If so, the details thereof;
(c) Whether the role of Bar Councils would be minimized with the passage of the Bill; and
(d) If so, the details thereof?
MINISTER OF LAW AND JUSTICE
(SHRI SALMAN KHURSHID)
(a) to (d): A statement is laid on the Table of the House.
Statement referred to in reply to parts (a) to (d) of the Rajya Sabha Starred Question No.12 for answer on 01.08.2011
(a) To (b): Yes Sir. A draft Bill titled "Legal Practitioners (Regulation and Maintenance of Standards In Profession, Protecting the interest of Clients and Promoting the Rule of Law) Act, 2010" was drafted and uploaded in the website of the Ministry of Law & Justice inviting comments and suggestions of the stakeholders. Comments are being received. The draft Bill will be reviewed based on these comments.
(c) To (d): No Sir. As per the proposed Bill, the complaints against the legal professionals will be examined by the Ombudsman and the report of the proposed Ombudsman will be forwarded to the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council of the State with a copy to the proposed Legal Services Board. The Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council shall consider the report of the Ombudsman and if such report is not accepted by the Bar Council, the reasons for rejection of the recommendations of the Ombudsman shall be explained in detail and the same shall be published in the manner prescribed by rules. This will not in any way minimize the role of Bar Councils.
However, Clauses 30•33 of the proposed draft Bill empower the Board to issue directions to the Bar Councils in certain specified circumstances and enables the Board to approach the High Court for enforcement of the directions if the Bar Councils fall to comply.