Apurva N. Mehta, Advocate
The High Court of Gujarat in a Writ Petition in the form of Public Interest Litigation between Vasava Narpat Sinh, Advocate v/s Registrar, Gujarat High Court & Ors has held that an Advocate has no absolute right to have appearance in any Court in India even after enforcement of Section 30 (Right of advocates to practice) of the Advocates Act, 1961 with effect from 2011. The argument advanced by the petitioner – in – person that the High Court of Gujarat by enacting Rule 428 (Mode of appearance by advocate not on the Roll of Advocates maintained by the Bar Council of Gujarat) cannot put any restriction on his right to practice in any High Court once his name was in the roll of the Bar Council, Madhya Pradesh was turned down by the Hon’ble Court relying on two Supreme Court judgments viz. Bar Council of India v/s High court of Kerala [AIR 2004 SC 2227] & Ex-Capt. Harish Uppal v/s Union of India and Another [AIR 2003 SC 739] and holding as under :
“ 11. It appears that in the last two sentences of the above quoted paragraph, the Supreme Court specifically held that even if Section 30 were to be brought into force control of proceedings in Court will always remain with the Court and thus even then the right to appear in Court will be subject to complying with conditions laid down by Courts. The Supreme Court further held that right to practice is subject to the rule-making power of the High Court under Section 34 of the Advocates Act, and thus, the right to appear in any Court is not an absolute right in that sense.
12. In our view, Mr. Trivedi is perfectly justified in his contention that the provision for Advocate Code is beneficial for the smooth administration of justice and for maintaining natural justice in the course of judicial proceedings. Otherwise, if without getting a code, an advocate of a different State is permitted to appear and after filing proceedings if he gets an interim order and his whereabouts is not traceable, the person against whom such ad-interim order of injunction is granted will face immense difficulties in vacating the ad-interim order of injunction after service of notice upon the petitioner. As provided in Section 122 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the High Court is vested with the power to frame rules not only for the proper administration of justice in the High Court but also in District Courts and the right of appearance of an Advocate to practice anywhere in India as provided in section 30 of the Advocates Act is subject to fulfillment of such condition as provided in various High Court Rules.
13. We, therefore, find that notwithstanding enforcement of section 30 of the Advocates Act with effect from 2011, an Advocate has no absolute right to have appearance in any court and such right must be subject to compliance of other laws laid down by the High Court in exercise of power under section 34 of the Advocates Act and Section 122 of the Code of Civil Procedure. ”