The Appellant recorded a complaint under Section 35 of Advocates Act, 1961 against the Respondent, an advocate in District Sant Rabidass Nagar, Bhadohi before the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh (‘BCUP’) for having purportedly manufactured and fabricated reports including settlement archives without the consent of the parties in the Consolidation Court. The Complainant attempted to obtain retraction of license to practice and tried to book the advocate for professional misconduct by virtue of ‘farzy vakalatnama’ and invented compromise. The DC of BCUP issued an order dated 28.05.2002 and suspended the advocate from practicing for a time of seven years from the judgment. From that point, the Respondent requested under Section 37 of the said act before the Disciplinary Committee of Bar Council of India (‘DC of BCI’). The advocate was reproved and promised to pay ₹1000/ – to the Advocates Welfare reserve by an order dated 20.06.2004. Hence, the Complainant appealed to the Supreme Court of India (‘SC’).
- The complainant is in appeal under Section 38 of the Advocates Act, 1961 (for short, ‘1961 Act’) wronged by the judgment and order dated 20.6.2004 passed by the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council of India.
- The litigant recorded a complaint against the respondent, an advocate practicing in Tehsil Gyanpur, District Sant Rabidass Nagar, Bhadohi under Section 35 of the 1961 Act before the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh (for short, ‘BCUP’) asserting that he is engaged with number of bogus cases by producing and manufacturing false reports.
- The Complainant claimed that the advocate had fashioned falsified reports as well as falsely compromised the party’s side. Subsequently, the absence of oral or narrative proof on part of the advocate couldn’t weaken the charges of professional misconduct.
- In his defence, the respondent rejected the notion that he has manufactured documents or made any invented compromise documents. He set up the request that the objection has been documented against him because of animosity.
- Albeit the respondent recorded his affirmation on the side of the answer however neither he offered himself for interrogation nor he let in any proof contrary to the objection and on the side of his answer.
- The Disciplinary Committee, BCUP passed an order dated 28.5.2002 suspending him from practicing for a time of seven years from the date of the judgment. The respondent-advocate, challenged the order for the Disciplinary Committee, BCUP in appeal under Section 37 of the 1961 Act before the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council of India (BCI). The Disciplinary Committee, BCI heard the parties and held that respondent in this (appealing party in that) had acted carelessly in the issue before the Chakbandi Officer.
- While the Respondent guaranteed that a bogus body of evidence was made against him because of enmity. The Respondent advocate neglected to interrogate the witnesses of the Complainant.
Principle/ Ratio decidendi:
The issue at hand was whether the punishment that the DC of the Bar Council of India issued was effective and just. Therefore, in accordance to the facts of this case, the following principles can be identified:
Section 35 of the Advocates Act, 1961: Section 35 lays down the punishment for advocates on misconduct. An individual is seen as guilty of professional misconduct; it will allude the case to a disciplinary committee, will fix a date of hearing and issue a show-cause notice to the Advocate and the Advocate General of the State. The disciplinary panel of the State Bar Council, in the wake of being known about both the parties, may:
- Excuse the complaint, or where the procedures were started at the occurrence of the State Bar Council coordinates those procedures be documented.
- Suspend the advocate, Suspend the advocate from practicing for such a period as it considers fit.
- Eliminate the name of an advocate from the state roll of advocates.
Section 35 of the Act additionally says that an Advocate might be rebuffed for professional misconduct or other offense albeit the terms wrongdoing and that professional misconduct isn’t characterized in Section 35 or some other arrangements of the Advocate Act, 1961.
Section 37 of the Advocates Act, 1961: Section 37 lays down the proceedings to appeal to the Bar Council of India. This Section also enables the Bar Council of India to hear an appeal against the order of the Disciplinary Committee of a Bar Council. Each such allure will be heard by the disciplinary advisory group of Bar Council of India. It shouldn’t be biased to influence an oppressed individual and should offer a sensible chance of being heard.
The Supreme Court of India in its judgment held the advocate responsible and guilty of improper and vehemently grave professional misconduct. The apex court observed that fraudulent conduct by an advocate, in any case, should not be tolerated as it threatens the relationship between the Bar and the Bench and undermines the administration of justice. The Supreme Court in its statement was of the opinion that “Any compromise with the purity, dignity and nobility of the legal profession is surely bound to affect the faith and respect of the people in the rule of law.” Hence, the previous order issued by the DC of BCI was changed along with the concerned advocate receiving punishment with regard to professional misconduct.
The writer is of the opinion that this case clearly points towards the heinous misconduct committed by the respondent advocate. This can be seen as the Disciplinary Committee of the BCUP in its findings revealed that the advocate was in fact committing professional misconduct by filing ‘vakalatnamas’ without any authority and additionally compromised fraudulently, thereby undermining the interests of the concerned parties. Contradicting the findings of the DC, the Supreme Court observed that the DC of BCI failed to properly examine documentary evidence, fabricated vakalatnamas and seven witnesses. The DC also did not pay heed to a cross-examination. Further, the opinion of the DC of BCI of the advocate being negligent before the Chakbandi Officer was withheld by the Supreme Court.
When scrutinized, one can observe that no contention was made to the arguments of the complainant. Also, the fact that the complainant had sufficient documentary evidence proves the order of the SC to change the order of the BCUP to be right. Therefore, this case is critical in understanding the importance of the Bar-Bench relation as it relays the regulations to prevent professional misconduct by deterrence and correction.
Supreme Court of India (Division Bench (DB)- Two Judge)
Narain Pandey vs. Pannalal Pandey, Appeal (Civil), 6363 of 2004
Hon’ble Justices R.M. Lodha and Anil R. Dave.
10th December, 2012.
Edited by: Pervez Sadiq Rahman
College name: Christ University, Bangalore (3rd Sem)