A.K. Balaji Vs. Government of India (Madras High Court), W.P. No. 5614 of 2010 and
M.P. Nos. 1, 3 to 5 of 2010, Date- February 21, 2012
This writ petition has been filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for the issuance of a Writ of Mandamus directing the respondents to take appropriate action against respondents or any other Foreign Law Firm or Foreign Lawyers, who are illegally practicing the Profession of Law in India, and for a further direction to forbear them from having any legal practice either on the litigation side or in the field of non-litigation and commercial transactions, in any manner whatsoever within the territory of India.
On Appeal Honorable Madras high Court has held as under :-
(i) Foreign law firms or foreign lawyers cannot practice the profession of law in India either on the litigation or non-litigation side, unless they fulfill the requirement of the Advocates Act, 1961 and the Bar Council of India Rules.
(ii) However, there is no bar either in the Act or the Rules for the foreign law firms or foreign lawyers to visit India for a temporary period on a “fly in and fly out” basis, for the purpose of giving legal advise to their clients in India regarding foreign law or their own system of law and on diverse international legal issues.
(iii) Moreover, having regard to the aim and object of the International Commercial Arbitration introduced in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, foreign lawyers cannot be debarred to come to India and conduct arbitration proceedings in respect of disputes arising out of a contract relating to international commercial arbitration.
(iv) The B.P.O. Companies providing wide range of customized and integrated services and functions to its customers like word-processing, secretarial support, transcription services, proofreading services, travel desk support services, etc. do not come within the purview of the Advocates Act, 1961 or the Bar Council of India Rules. However, in the event of any complaint made against these B.P.O. Companies violating the provisions of the Act, the Bar Council of India may take appropriate action against such erring companies.