Uttarakhand High Court Challenges Fee Hike for Filing Complaints Against Advocates, Issues Notice to Bar Councils

The Uttarakhand High Court has taken a significant step in addressing the contentious issue of fee hikes for filing disciplinary cases against advocates, as it issued a notice to both the Bar Council of India and the Bar Council of Uttarakhand. This development comes in response to a petition that challenges the increased charges imposed for filing complaints against lawyers before the State Bar Council.

In a hearing presided over by Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rakesh Thapliyal, the bench not only sought a response from the Bar Councils but also demanded an explanation for the proposal to raise the fee to a staggering Rs.5,500/- from the current Rs.1,750/- for filing disciplinary cases.

The court, through a written observation, requested that the State Bar Council provide a brief affidavit elucidating the rationale behind the substantial hike in fees for the entertainment of disciplinary cases and complaints. The bench highlighted the apparent deviation from the Bar Council of India Rules, specifically Part VIII, which currently prescribes fees of Rs.250 + Rs.200 under Clauses 1(b) and 1(b-1).

Representing the petitioner, Advocate Irum Zeba passionately argued against the fee increase, while Deputy Advocate General Mamta Bisht presented the State’s perspective. Advocate Azmeen Sheikh stood on behalf of the Union of India, Advocate Piyush Garg represented the Bar Council of Uttarakhand, and Advocate Sandeep Tiwari represented the Bar Council of India.

The court has set June 13, 2023, as the date for further proceedings in this case, which bears the cause title of Satya Dev Tyagi v. State of Uttarakhand.

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