ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Ensuring Safety of Lawyers

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Lawyers play a vital role in any legal system as they act as the cornerstone of the justice system. They are the ones who represent and protect the interests of their clients and ensure that justice is served. However, in recent years, the safety of lawyers in India has become a significant concern. The reasons behind the increasing violence against lawyers in India are numerous. Disputes are often settled through violence and lawyers are frequently caught in the crossfire. On 1 April 2023, an eminent advocate was shot dead in Delhi, leaving the legal fraternity in shock and mourning. Due to this incident, a huge protest was organised by lawyers in Delhi whereby they refrained from work in all district courts. It is pertinent to note that crimes against lawyers are not confined to a particular region, but it is rampant everywhere in the country. There have been several reported cases of attacks on lawyers in recent years, particularly those representing marginalised communities or cases involving high-profile clients. In some cases, lawyers have been targeted by criminal gangs, political parties, or even law enforcement agencies. In December 2022, there were similar protests in Goa where several advocates assembled outside the crime branch seeking an action to be taken against the police personnel who were involved in the assault of a lawyer.

Furthermore, on 15 February 2023, a veteran lawyer was brutally stabbed to death in Jodhpur after which fellow lawyers carried out a strike. They boycotted courts demanding compensation for the family of the deceased lawyer. The protest then escalated into a larger movement with lawyers demanding the enactment of the Advocate Protection Act. Ultimately, on 22 March 2023, the Legislative Assembly of Rajasthan decided to pass the Rajasthan Advocates Protection Bill and made history by becoming the first state in the country to pass a law to ensure the safety of lawyers. The proposed bill aims to put an end to violence and false allegations against advocates by introducing strict provisions for the prevention of various offences against them, including assault, grievous hurt, criminal force, and criminal intimidation, as well as damage or loss to their property. While the bill tackles significant challenges encountered by lawyers in India, it falls short of being comprehensive and is confined to Rajasthan.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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