The Bar Council of India on Wednesday passed a unanimous resolution against online legal news portal Live Law and its author Vikas Bhadauria for an article published on the portal. Bhaduria had written an article criticising Chairman of the Bar Council of India, Manan Kumar Mishra, which was published on Live Law on June 1. According to the Bar Council of India, the article is not only defamatory but also a brazen attack on the Chairman as well as the organisation.
The resolution was passed in its General Council meeting conducted through video conferencing. This agenda of the meeting was presided over by Mr Satish A. Deshmukh, the Vice-Chairman of Bar Council of India on the request of Chairman, Bar Council of India, Manan Kumar Mishra.
BCI in its press release also said it will approach the Ministry of I&B with a complaint and take a decision about lodging a criminal case for defamation and-or suit for damages in the next meeting/s.
Live Law has taken to Twitter to share the news and confirmed that they are yet to receive any formal notice/communication from BCI in this regard.
Bar Council of India passes resolution against “LiveLaw” & author Vikas Bhadauria for publishing article criticizing BCI Chairperson, Manan Kumar Mishra.— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) June 4, 2020
BCI said it will approach Ministry of I & B with complaint and also lodge criminal case for defamation.@barcouncilindia pic.twitter.com/BgwuXGBnPD
Bar Council of India criticised Live Law for allowing its platform to be used for a defamatory story prompted by ill-will and malice
In the said resolution it has been stated that it is “appalling that Live Law has allowed its platform to be used for a defamatory story prompted by ill-will and malice to make personal allegations against Mr Manan Kumar Mishra, Chairman, Bar Council of India.” It mentions a write-up dated June 1, 2020, by author Vikas Bhadauria, in which Bhadauria criticised BCI Chairman and accused him of “stifling genuine criticism and stalling reform”.
“We take it as a brazen attack not only on the Chairman but, on the Bar Council of India as an Institution. Ever since Mr Manan Kumar Mishra was elected Chairman of Bar Council of India, he has been relentlessly espousing and fighting for the cause of Advocates’ fraternity in the country”, read the resolution.
“The Members would like to place on record that Mr Manan Kumar Mishra has been unanimously elected Chairman of the Bar Council of India for the 5th consecutive term on 06.12.2019, because of his quality of dynamic leadership and commitment for the cause of Bar and Standard of Legal Education. He has always fought from the front for the cause of Advocates with all Members of Bar Council of India unitedly standing behind him. There is no difference or dissension among Members of Bar Council of India as regards the laudable acts done and being done by the Chairman for promotion of a strong, vibrant and independent Bar and Judiciary” further stated the resolution.
Bar Council of India calls story by author Vikas Bhadauria published by Live Law “a vilification campaign”
The resolution furthered that the story by author Vikas Bhadauria is only scandal-mongering and vilification campaign against the BCI Chairman and said that “the council resolved to condemn and reject it with all contempt it deserves”.
“The said author has done cherry-picking to suit his false story and has made reference to selective portions of certain statements and communications of Mr Manan Kumar Mishra without giving full text and proper purport which has always been to advance the cause of the bar”, said the resolution.