Advocacy is a noble profession and an advocate is the most accountable, privileged and erudite person of the society and his act are role model for the society, which are necessary to be regulated. Professional misconduct is the behavior outside the bounds of what is considered acceptable or worthy of its membership by the governing body of a profession. Professional misconduct refers to disgraceful or dishonorable. Chapter V of the Advocate Act, 1961, deals with the conduct of Advocates. It describes provisions relating to punishment for professional and other misconducts. Section 35(1) of the Advocate Act, 1961, says, where on receipt of a complaint or otherwise a State Bar Council has reason to believe that any advocate on its roll has been guilty of professional or other misconduct, it shall refer the case for disposal to it disciplinary committee. Generally legal profession is not a trade or business, it’s a gracious, noble, and decontaminated profession of the society. Members belonging to this profession should not encourage deceitfulness and corruption, but they have to strive to secure justice to their clients. The credibility and reputation of the profession depends upon the manner in which the members of the profession conduct themselves. It’s a symbol of healthy relationship between Bar and Bench.
The legal profession regulates the conduct of its practitioners by making use of a set of binding rules that have been developed as it develops in the context of other professions. Admission to the profession is regulated, internal discipline is ensured and the behavior of the members is governed by a set of rules called professional ethics. This set of rules deals with discipline and even the removal of members from the profession.
Profession of law is a scholarly profession; no other profession affects human life in so many ways as the law. It has always been highly regarded and its members have played an enviable role in public life. It differs from other professions because lawyers influence not only the individual but also the administration of justice, which is the foundation of any civilized society. The canons of professional ethics are the bar's most coveted heritage. The greatness and honour of the legal profession is due to the behavioral canons which govern the relations between lawyers and others in their professional capacity.
By adhering to the highest standards of professional ethics, the bar's stature can be enhanced. Unless the lawyer meets the highest standards of professional ethics, he cannot earn the respect of the community and his peers in the profession do not accept him as an excellent lawyer. Although entry into the profession can be achieved by acquiring only the qualification of technical competence, honor as a profession must be maintained by its members through exemplary conduct inside and outside the court.
Although India has organized bar and disciplinary authorities to regulate the profession, we cannot shy away from the reality that the reputation of the bar is currently low. There are different reasons for this. The main reason is behavior that deviates from accepted professional ethical standards. But this deviant behavior is mainly due to a real ignorance about ethical requirements. Professional misconduct can be reduced through self-policing and legal training. Bars and bar councils, through their disciplinary committees, have a great responsibility to preserve the nobility and honor of the profession.
The Bar Council of India has various committees that make recommendations to the Council. The members of these committees are elected from amongst the members of the Council. The Advocates Act mandates the creation of a Disciplinary Committee (under section 9), along with other such committees under section 10.
The disciplinary committee of the Bar Council of India hears applications for revision by persons against summary dismissal of their complaints against advocates for professional misconduct, by the State Bar Councils. Appeals lie before the Bar Council of India against orders of the disciplinary committees of the State Bar Councils. Every such appeal is heard by the disciplinary committee of the Bar Council of India, which may pass an order, including an order varying the punishment awarded by the disciplinary committee of the State Bar Council. Each disciplinary committee consists of three members. The term of the members of this committee is three years.