Beware of Fake LawyersAre you fighting a court case? Have you verified whether your lawyer is genuine or fake? The Bar Council of India (BCI) has informed the Supreme Court that nearly 40 to 45% fake lawyers have been found to be working in India in its ongoing verification drive against lawyers.
By Sunil Garodia
This is very alarming and could be one of the reasons why cases drag on. A litigant is least expected to know whether the lawyer is genuine or not, especially when he is occupying space in the lawyers enclosures in courts and handles many clients. It is surprising that these fake lawyers have been able to appear before judges and argue cases. It is in courtrooms that their credentials should be verified and they should be booked for cheating clients.
The legal profession in India, at the lower levels at least, has been taken over by touts. As soon as one visits court premises, one is accosted by touts offering to get affidavits made or offer other services. Without appearing before notaries or magistrates, everything is done pronto. This is very dangerous and reduces the process to a farce.
Further, stamp papers are always sold at a premium. Those who arrange affidavits never ask for any identification from deponents. Everything is done below the board with no questions asked. The court premises should be freed of these touts.
CJI J S Khehar was of the view that "I am so happy that BCI has started the verification process. But it is not only about people with false degrees, but also those with no degrees. These people work without a licence. They go to court and practice without any authority. He then advised the BCI that "Lawyers serve the society. Lawyers should be the best. The institution should be competent to discharge the obligation. Arrange training for people who join the bar. People who are scared. People who do not know their profession. Help them. You need to help a lawyer one time, he will then fight every case by himself as he will understand how to search for the law. Also teach them ethics. Have good institutions.
The verification drive of BCI, along with strict implementation of the Certificate and Place of Practice (Verification) Rules must root out all fake lawyers from the system. Thereafter, strict vigilance must be kept to ensure that they do not sneak back. But unless touts are eliminated, litigants will continue to be fleeced.