By Nageshwar Patnaik in Bhubaneswar, December 14, 2022: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed to provide security to Bar Council of India (BCI) members after it suspended the licence of lawyers who resorted to vandalism during the strikes in Odisha and also called for stringent action against the erring advocates allegedly involved in the violence.

BCI on |Wednesday suspended licenses of 14 more advocates. Earlier, the BCI had suspended the licenses of 29 advocates on Monday, with immediate effect, for 18 months.

BCI informed the court that it is still looking into the matter against those lawyers who had played active roles in the strike and remained indulged in the acts of vandalism.

It appraised the court that the licenses of some lawyers have been suspended from practice for a period of 18 months.

The top court also noted that some of the members of the Bar Council of India are getting threats and directed the concerned police to provide security to the officials of the Bar Council.

The court also took note of the fact that the family of BCI members were also facing threats and directed the local police to provide security to the family members of the BCI officials.

The court also said that the Commissioner of Delhi Police would make necessary arrangements when meetings are held at BCI.

The court directed the police to take action against both lawyers and non-lawyers who are visible in the video.

Observing the agitation went out of hand, the court said, “We have little doubt that this is an abject failure of the police.” Senior Police officials of Odisha have assured the court that what has happened will not happen again and complete peace is maintained.

The court also remarked that if police are incompetent to handle the protest in Odisha then the bench may give direction for deploying a paramilitary force.

The court was dealing with the matter relating to a lawyers’ strike in Odisha, demanding a new High Court bench at Sambalpur.

The court remarked that now there is no hope for the formation of a bench and whatever possibility it was, that is lost now due to their conduct.

Strongly condemning the striking lawyers who burnt the effigy of senior advocates including the Attorney General, the court said that the police should have effected preventive arrest and kept them in custody for some time at least.

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