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If judges can go to National Judicial Academy for training, why not lawyers: Supreme Court

NEW DELHI: If judges can go to the National Judicial Academy for training, why not lawyers, the Supreme Court said on Friday while asserting that all advocates should undergo compulsory training and they should not be allowed to practise unless they have a certificate from a recognised law university.

The remark was made by a bench of Justices Bela M Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal while hearing the bail plea of Souvik Bhattacharya, son of Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA Manik Bhattacharya, arrested in connection with the West Bengal teachers’ recruitment “scam”.

Appearing in the court on behalf of Bhattacharya, senior advocate Sidharth Luthra submitted that a bail application was filed by one of the lawyers in the trial court despite the absence of a summoning order.

“Why don’t you have a law academy for lawyers? We have for judges. No action is being taken against erring lawyers by the Bar Council. They should be educated properly. Do something. There must be compulsory training for every lawyer, including the senior advocates.”

“If judges can go to the National Judicial Academy, why not lawyers? Unless they have a certificate from a recognised law university, they should not be allowed to practise. It is there in foreign countries. It is not that nobody knows it, the problem is that nobody wants to implement it,” the bench observed orally.

The top court directed Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing in the matter on behalf of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), to verify if there was any summoning order passed by the court and posted the matter for hearing after a week.

The top court had, on December 21 last year, sought the ED’s response on a plea filed by jailed TMC MLA Manik Bhattacharya and his son seeking bail in the case lodged over alleged irregularities in teachers’ recruitment in West Bengal.

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