March 13, 2018
In a subsequent development to a petition instituted with the Supreme Court seeking ban on legislators from practicing law in India, the Supreme Court has now issued notice to the Bar Council of India (BCI) in the case.
The Petitioner, namely Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay has filed petition with the Court, whereby he has prayed that the Legislators (MP’s and MLAs) shall be debarred from practicing law in India. The Petitioner in the case has also prayed that in the alternative, Rule 49 of the Bar Council of India Rules shall be declared ultra vires so as to permit Public Servants from practicing law.
Rule 49 of Bar Council of India Rules states that an advocate shall not be a full-time salaried employee of any person, government or firm so long as he continues to practice law.
Earlier in January this year, the BCI had issued notice to reportedly 500 legislators practicing law in India and sought their response on aforesaid prayer of the Petitioner.
The issue encapsulating the present case is indeed an intriguing and debatable one. If legislators are barred from practicing law then some top names like Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, P. Chidambram etc. would be debarred from practicing as Advocates.