oppn parties Legislators Can Practice Law, Says SC

News Snippets

  • 84 NDRF teams have been despatched to 23 states to tackle the flood situation
  • Three persons lynched in Bihar after being accused of cattle theft
  • Delhi police seize a consignment of 1500 kgs of heroin and busts a cartel of Afghanistan-Pakistan narcotics dealers with links to the Taliban
  • Supreme Court gives 9 more months to complete the Babri Masjid demolition case trial
  • Priyanka Gandhi not allowed to meet the families of the dead in the Sonabhadra firing, arrested
  • ICC inducts Sachin Tendulkar in [email protected]@@s Hall of Fame
  • Stock markets bleed for the second day. Sensex crashes 560 points
  • S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, says Pakistan should release and repatriate Kulbhushan Jadhav immediately
  • Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala asks the Speaker to hold the trust vote latest by 1.30 pm today
  • The Government sends a list of 24 questions to mobile app company that runs video app TikTok seeking answers for anti-national and obscene content carried on the platform
  • Sarvana Bhawan founder P Rajagopal, serving a life term for murder, dies in a Chennai hospital
  • SC allows time till July 31 to the Ayodhya mediation panel
  • IT department attaches "benami" plot worth Rs 400cr in Noida. The plot allegedly belongs to BSP leader [email protected]@@s brother and his wife
  • Dawood [email protected]@@s nephew, Md. Rizwan Iqbal, was arrested from Mumbai airport as he was waiting to board a flight to Dubai
  • Trouble brews in Bihar JD(U)-BJP alliance as Bihar police asks special branch officers to keep tabs on RSS activities
Even after indicating that the trust vote will be held today (he said he cannot delay as he had to face the world), the Karnataka Speaker adjourns the assembly until Monday. Voting is likely to take place on Monday
oppn parties
Legislators Can Practice Law, Says SC

By Linus Garg

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.
The Supreme Court has allowed members of parliament and legislative assemblies to practice as lawyers and advocates. The court said that although they drew salaries from the government, there was no employer-employee relationship. Hence, the court found that they could neither be called public servants as per section 21 of IPC nor could their act of working for litigants be likened to holding an office of profit. The court refused to bar them for appearing in courts or otherwise giving advice to litigants and charging a fee for the same. The court also said that nothing in the Bar Council of India rules prevented them for doing so.

This is a sensible judgment. If a businessman can continue to operate his business after being elected as a member of any legislature, a painter can continue to paint, an actor can continue with his profession, why can’t a lawyer do the same? Among other things, Article 102(1)(a) expressly says that a person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either House of Parliament if he holds any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State, other than an office declared by Parliament by law not to disqualify its holder.” Section 3 of The Parliament (Prevention Of Disqualification) Act, 1959 lists the offices of profit which the member can hold without being disqualified.

Hence, the question before the court was whether by drawing salaries as members of legislatures, were MPs and MLAs public servants and whether by working for litigants for a fee, lawyers could be held to be holding an office of profit. The added question was that was there a conflict of interest in as much that they were lawmakers as well as law practitioners. The court found that there was no existing law that barred legislators from practicing law, charging fee from litigants or appearing in court.