Case Law Details

Case Name : Bar Council Of Gujarat & Another V/S Jalpa Pradeepbhai Desai & Another (Gujarat High Court)
Appeal Number : Letters Patent Appeal No. 1296 of 2016 in Special Civil Application No. 19743 of 2015 with Civil Application No. 11919 of 2016
Date of Judgement/Order : 22.12.2016
Related Assessment Year :
Courts : All High Courts (3788) Gujarat High Court (318)

No temporary enrollment for Advocate under Advocacy Act: Gujarat HC

Introduction:

Legal practitioners in India are governed by the Advocates Act, 1961. They have to abide by the rules and regulations made under the Act. One who qualified the Bar Council Examination can get certificate of practice by enrolling himself/herself as a practitioner advocate in the Bar Council of India.

There is any provision under the Advocacy Act for temporary enrollment number?

In the recent case law of (Bar Council of Gujarat v. Jalpa Pradeepbhai Desai), Hon’ble High Court of Gujarat has decided not to issue a temporary certificate of practice to an advocate who was in contractual agreement and drawn salary from Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation.

Brief facts of the Case are as under:

  • A respondent petitioner was pursuing L.L.B. from Baroda School of Legal Studies, from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda.
  • She was in her last year of L.L.B. course. During her academic period, Campus placement were started and she was selected in campus interview of Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation as Legal Consultant on contract basis.
  • After completion of her studies, she applied Certificate of Practice to the Bar Council of Gujarat while simultaneously rendering service in Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation.
  • Bar council had put her enrollment form for Certificate of Practice on hold by saying that she was violating the rule of 49 of the Bar Council of India as she is rendering his full time service to the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation.
  • Rule 49 of Chapter II, part-6 provides that an advocate should not be a full-time salaried employee of any person, Government, firm, Corporation or concern, so long as he/ she continues to practice.
  • She filed a petition to the High Court against decision of Bar council of Gujarat
  • Further, she contended that contractual arrangement of her service with the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation could not be viewed as employment and remuneration of Rs. 25,000/- per month paid to her was not by way of salary, as such, there was no employee-employer relationship between them.
  • Single Judge of High Court has granted interim relief to the respondent and directed the Bar Council of Gujarat to grant her a temporary enrolment number.
  • Aggrieved by the directions of Single Judge of High Court, Bar council of Gujarat preferred appeal against the directions of Single Judge.

The High court of Gujarat held that:

  • In view of the conditions of service contract of the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation, it was observed that she was in the office from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. which are standard hours of work, prima facie it has to be considered as full-time employment.
  • Further, there is no provision for grant of temporary certificate by the Bar Council for practicing as an advocate under the Advocates Act, 1961 and the rules framed thereunder
  • She could not entitled to practice as advocate so long as she continues such employment

Conclusion:

An advocate who is in full time employment or full time salaried employee of any firm, corporation or concern could not be entitled to get certificate of practice as long as he/she continues to employment. A professional has to follow the rules and regulations in order to maintain the dignity and standards of legal profession.

About Author: The Author is Company Secretary by profession and can be reached at cs.karan90@gmail.com.

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