The government proposes to amend the Notaries Act to restrict the number of terms a person can practice as a notary to allow more young legal practitioners enter the field, the Law Ministry said on Tuesday.
In a statement, the ministry said the proposed amendment bill also seeks to extend power to suspend the certificate of practice in cases of professional misconduct by the appropriate government for conduct of inquiry.
The proposed amendment bill also seeks to digitise notarial work undertaken by notaries.
As of now the number of terms of renewal of certificates of practice of a notary is unrestricted after the initial appointment.
' ... it is proposed to restrict the overall term of notaries for a period up to 15 years (initial term of five years and two renewal terms of five years each) by curtailing renewals of unlimited terms...' the ministry said.
As a part of pre-legislative consultation, a copy of the draft bill has been uploaded on the website of the Department of Legal Affairs for comments and views which can be submitted by December 15, it said.
The Notaries Act, 1952 was enacted to regulate the profession of notaries.
The provisions of the Notaries Act, 1952 and subsequent rules empower the central government as well as state governments to appoint notaries who possess the prescribed qualifications.
As per the existing provisions of the law, the number of terms of renewal of certificates of practice of a notary is unrestricted after the initial appointment, the ministry noted.
There are fixed number of notaries who are appointed by the central as well as state governments and they are appointed in a particular area, keeping in view the commercial importance and requirement of notaries in that particular area, to avoid flooding of such professionals.
'It is felt that an opportunity needs to be given to young eligible legal practitioners who are aspiring to serve as notary public which may help them to build up their professional excellence by which they can provide legal services in a more effective manner,' the statement said.