Recent incidents of attacks, usage of criminal force, and threats to
advocates have increased insecurity in this profession. Advocates play a very
vital role in the judicial system of the country and in prevailing justice using
their professional knowledge. These professionals face a lot of hurdles in
performing their duty in the courts. All this resulted in the need for some laws
for the protection of advocates as there does not exist any law which provides
For the purpose of drafting a law in this regard Bar council of India has
constituted a seven-member committee. On 2nd of July 2021, the Bar council
issued Advocates Protection Bill, 2021 for resolving the problems and
difficulties faced by advocates. The purpose of this proposed legislation is to
ensure smooth and easy completion of tasks by advocates without hindrance.
This bill is drafted in compliance with the 8th United Nation congress on
Prevention of crime and treatment of offenders. India being a member of this
congress accepted the 'Basic principles of the role of lawyers.
After this proposed law, lawyers can perform their vital role in society without
hindrance and fear of threats, attacks, and violence against them.
Need of the bill:
A protector also needs protection in society. The need for this bill arises to
provide protection from offenses of threats, criminal force, assault, grievous
hurt, and criminal intimidation against the advocates and also to the property
of advocates from damage or loss and from other matters incidental or connected
therewith. The Supreme court of India has also said that advocates are the
officers of the court, so need protection to serve society in an effective
manner and to meet the ends of justice.
This law is also needed to provide social security to the advocates and to
ensure a basic and minimum standard of living. Supreme Court has also observed
in a case that the profession of advocacy is elite in society. Advocates also
face frivolous prosecution while performing their duty in the courts. For
securing the ultimate cause of rule of law and justice an advocate must be
fearless while discharging the duty. The property of advocates also needs
protection from threats, damage, or loss.
There are several incidents of violence and attacks on advocates in recent
times. A case of kidnapping and murder of an advocate was reported in Pune by
three men in October 2020. Another incident of illegal detention of an advocate
by police officers was also reported in Noida.
All these resulted in the need for this bill for the protection of advocates.
About Rajasthan Advocates Protection Act, 2023:
Recently in 2023, Rajasthan has become the first state of India to pass the
advocates protection bill in the state assembly for the protection of advocates
from threats, criminal force, assault, grievous hurt, criminal intimidation, and
protection of property and family. The attention of the Rajasthan government
shifted to this concern after a one-month-long protest by advocates. The protest
was the result of a brutal murder of a lawyer by two men in Jodhpur. Advocates
in the state did the protest seeking enactment of the act. Bar association of
the state also supported the same. Bar association of India also urged the
government for passing the proposed bill.
Finally, after a long time struggle the bill is passed by the state assembly
using the voice vote method on 21st of March 2023.
Features of the Act:
- The name of the act may be called the Rajasthan Advocates Act, 2023.
- The act extends to the whole of the state of Rajasthan.
- Section 3 of the act provides protection from acts of assault, grievous
hurt, criminal force, and criminal intimidation against the advocates. These
acts are deemed to be an offense under this act if done in the discharge of
the duties of an advocate.
- Section 4 provides for police protection to advocates. This section
entitles an advocate to demand police protection in case he complains
regarding the commission of any offense under section 3 of the act. The
granting of protection is the discretion of the police depending on the
seriousness of the case.
- Section 5 provides for penalties for the commission of any offense under
section 3 of the act. The penalties under this section are not minor instead
are major. This section provides for three kinds of penalties (1) the acts
of assault or usage of criminal force against advocates in contravention of
Section 3 shall be punished, (2) the act of voluntarily causing grievous
hurt to advocates in contravention of section 3 of the act shall be
punished, (3) act of voluntarily committing the offense of criminal
intimidation against advocates in contravention of section 3 or causes
destruction of property or any other loss of such nature shall be punished.
- Section 6 provides for prompt investigation in case of offense against
advocates. This act states the offenses as cognizable offenses meaning
thereby the police have the power to investigate the matter without the
permission of the magistrate so that the action could be taken promptly.
- Section 7 of the act provides for the compounding of the offense under
this act. If an offense is committed against an advocate and the aggrieved
is ready to compromise the offense, it could be done but with the permission
of the court.
- Section 8 contains provisions for compensation. If the court has awarded
a fine for the offense against an advocate, then in this case the court can
order that the fine awarded shall be paid to the advocate as compensation.
This section is very important for the protection of the interests of
- Section 9 provides for additional damages. If any loss or damage has
occurred to the property of the advocate, then the court can order
additional damages and medical expenses can also be covered under this.
- The main highlight of the act is that it is not in derogation to any
other law in force for the time being and will be applicable separately
The act is a very significant step towards the protection of the advocates in
society. The act tries to provide a very safe and secure environment for
lawyers. But this should not be done by the individual state government, rather
should be enacted on the central level. For encouraging legal attorneys to
perform their duties and practice their profession with more freedom, it is
necessary to implement the act in a proper manner.
Written By: Poshit Srivastav
- Faculty of Law, DU