Bar Council of Gujrat v. Jalpa Pradeepbhai Desai

[SCC Online Guj 5080. Decided On 25.12.2016]

FACTS

The respondent petitioner applied for an appeal, who has applied for certificate of practice to Bar Council of Gujrat while simultaneously rendering service at a corporation. Jalpa Pradeepbhai Desai, was not allowed to enroll as an Advocate due to her association with Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation as Legal Consultant. The High Court asked the Bar Council of India to take decision relating to her entitlement to get enrollment as an advocate.  On finding that the Bar Council of India did not take any decision the Court eventually granted relief to the respondent petitioner in this case by means of a Writ Petition in a single Judge bench .The Court granted her an interim relief and directed the Bar Council to grant her a temporary enrollment number.

ISSUES BEFORE COURT

  • The respondent petitioner contended that her contractual service arrangement of her service with the corporation could not be viewed as employment.
  • Remuneration paid to her was not by way of salary, there was no employee-employer relationship.
  • The respondent petitioner has to attend office from 11 AM-5 Pm, which are standard hours of work.
  • The respondent petitioner has a fixed salary of Rs.25000 per month.

HELD

The High Court of Gujarat held that there is no provision for grant of temporary certificate by the Bar Council for practicing as an advocate under the Advocate’s Act 1961. The Division Bench observed that according to the contract of the corporation observed that the respondent-petitioner was a full-time salaried employee of the corporation, she is not entitled to practice as advocate so long as she continues in such employment and was barred under Rule 49 of the Rules. (No provision under Advocates Act, 1961 for temporary enrolment as an advocate; SCCOnLine/Dec 28, 2016)

LEARNING OUTCOME

 Even though the respondent petitioner contended “I was allowed to enroll as an advocate by BCG & BCI in 2012-2013 and they allowed me to appear All India Bar Exam but when I cleared my exam and asked for number and certificate of practice they took U-turn. hence I approached High Court,”(No Provision For Temporary Enrollment As Advocates: Gujarat HC;livelaw/Dec 25, 2016).The Court made it clear as to fact of what are to be termed as employment and how a practicing lawyer as per the conduct of the Act is barred from continuing its membership in the Bar once finds another employment.

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