SC dismisses PILs seeking direction to BCI to frame guidelines on safety of lawyers in courts

The Supreme Court Monday dismissed pleas seeking direction to the Bar Council of India (BCI) to frame gender-neutral safety guideline for all, especially women, in the court premises across the country. A bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, however, asked the Art of Learning Foundation and Kirti Ahuja, the petitioners, to approach BCI for redressal of their grievances. We are not inclined to entertain the petitions, the bench said. The foundation, in its plea, sought direction to the BCI to frame gender-neutral guidelines ensuring safety to the entire legal fraternity and curtail discrimination against LGBTQ community in court premises. It had sought a direction to amend the Bar Council Act for ensuring representation of all segments of lawyers by reserving at least two positions for women or third gender lawyers in the elected body of the council. One of the lawyers said that the lawyers drink in their chambers in court premises and moreover, there were inadequate CCTVs putting the safety of women lawyers at risk.