ACS Deep Vaghela

The Apex Court in its landmark judgement on whether the foreign law firms/lawyers are permitted to practice in India held that practicing of law includes not only appearance in courts but also giving of opinion, drafting of instruments, participation in conferences involving legal discussion. Scheme in Chapter-IV of the Advocates Act makes it clear that advocates enrolled with the Bar Council alone are entitled to practice law, except as otherwise provided in any other law. Thus, if any law like Income Tax Act, Companies Act, SEBI, FEMA, etc. allows other professions to practice such laws then such professionals can practice in that particular law. All others can appear only with the permission of the court, authority or person before whom the proceedings are pending.

Senior Advocate Arvind Datar in his submission was hinged on the argument that only litigation work or court practice of a lawyer is regulated in India by the Advocates Act and as of now, there is no regulatory mechanism for non-litigation work. Enrolment is necessary only for pleading or acting. Section 30 is only with respect to court practice and the interpretation of Section 30 cannot be that nobody can touch anything related to law unless he is lawyer.Bar Council of India vs. A.K. Balaji and Ors (Supreme Court).

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