Before the Enactment of the Advocate Act, 1961 , High court has the Disciplinary jurisdiction over legal practitioners. The High Court is the competent authority to punish the advocates for their professional misconduct. But now the Advocate Act, 1961 entrusted this jurisdiction of dealing misconduct of the advocates to the Bar councils. As the Bar council is a large body with the multiple activities, it entrusted to their Disciplinary Committees . The Disciplinary Committees have authority to hold Disciplinary proceedings against the misconduct of advocates.
The authority to punishment for professional misconduct -
Section 35 of the Advocate Act provides that on receipt of a complaint or otherwise if 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 its Disciplinary Committee. Section 9 of the Act empowers the State Bar Council to constitute one or more Disciplinary Committees. The Disciplinary Committee will consist of three members of whom two shall be persons elected by the council from amongst its members and other shall be a person co-opted by the council from amongst advocates who passes the qualification specified in the proviso to sub section (2) of section 3 and who are not members of the Council and the senior most advocate amongst the members of a Disciplinary Committee shall be the chairman thereof .
According to Section 35(1-A) of Advocate Act Provides that the State Bar council may, either of its own motion or on application made by it by any person interested , withdraw a proceeding pending before its Disciplinary Committee and direct the inquiry to be made by any other Disciplinary Committee of that State Bar council.
According to section 35(2) of the Advocate Act, the disciplinary committee of a State Bar council shall fix a date for the hearing of the case and shall cause a notice thereof to be given to the advocate concerned and the Advocate-General of the State.
Section 35 (3) Provides that the Disciplinary Committee of a State Bar Council after giving the Advocate concerned and the Advocate General on opportunity of being heard, may make following orders, namely : -
b) Reprimand the advocate
c) Suspend the advocate from practice for such period as it may deem fit ;
d) Remove the name of the advocate from the State roll of advocates.
Where an advocate is suspended from practice as per the order of disciplinary committee he shall during the period of suspension, be debarred from practicing in any court or before any authority or person in India..