SC seeks reply on plea to ban MP/MLAs from prac­tis­ing law

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE -

The Supreme Court on Mon­day sought the re­sponse of the Bar Coun­cil of In­dia (BCI) on a plea seek­ing ban on law­mak­ers from prac­tis­ing as ad­vo­cates.

A bench com­pris­ing Chief Jus­tice Di­pak Misra and Jus­tices A M Khan­wilkar and D Y Chan­drachud is­sued a no­tice to the BCI on the plea which al­leged that par­lia­men­tar­i­ans and leg­is­la­tors, prac­tis­ing as lawyers, posed a “con­flict of in­ter­est” and vi­o­lated the pro­vi­sions of the Ad­vo­cates Act and the Bar Coun­cil of In­dia Rules.

At­tor­ney Gen­eral K K Venu­gopal, whose as­sis­tance was sought by the apex court on Fe­bru­ary 17, re­ferred to an ear­lier judge­ment in a sim­i­lar case and sought dis­missal of the PIL.

The top court, how­ever, did not agree with the con- ten­tion of Venu­gopal say­ing “this is slightly dif­fer­ent” and asked the coun­sel for the pe­ti­tioner which rules have been vi­o­lated.

“Let the copy of this pe­ti­tion be served on par­ties. Is­sue no­tice to BCI,” the bench said and fixed the mat­ter for fur­ther hear­ing on April 23.

The pe­ti­tion, filed by BJP Delhi spokesper­son Ash­wini Ku­mar Upad­hyay, said while a public ser­vant can­not prac­tice as an ad­vo­cate, leg­is­la­tors are prac­tis­ing in var­i­ous courts a vi­o­la­tion of Ar­ti­cle 14. “Leg­is­la­tors take fees from lit­i­gant and salary from the public ex­che­quer, which is pro­fes­sional mis­con­duct,” the plea said.

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