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A Mere Accused in a Criminal Case Cannot be barred from Enrolling as an Advocate, rules Madhya Pradesh HC

Team SoOLEGAL 24 Sep 2018 4:00pm

A Mere Accused in a Criminal Case Cannot be barred from Enrolling as an Advocate, rules Madhya Pradesh HC

The Madhya Pradesh High Court has held that a person merely accused in a criminal case, wherein guilt is yet to be proven, cannot be barred from enrolling as a lawyer.

The court’s decision came on a petition filed by Braj Mohan challenging the M.P. State Bar Council’s decision to decline his entry into the Rolls of the State Bar Council as an advocate.

According to the petitioner, the State Bar Council had refused to enroll him on the ground that he was accused in a criminal case and the offences punishable u/S 452, 352, 323, 294 of IPC were levelled against him.

During the hearing, the state bar council relied on a High Court decision which had held that:

The pendency of the criminal case is enough to incur disqualification for being registered as an advocate under the 1961 Act.”

But, after going through the said judgment in detail, the court observed that it was a case where the accused was pronounced guilty of an offence punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and his appeal before the High Court was pending.

The court then said,

The said judgment is of no avail to the Council since petitioner does not suffer any conviction for any offence. The petitioner merely being an accused in the aforesaid criminal case for offences where guilt is yet to be proved, in the considered opinion of this Court, cannot deny entry to petitioner entry into the State Rolls as an Advocate for the simple reason that petitioner, for the time being, does not incur any disqualification u/s 24-A of Advocates Act.”

Following this, the court not only directed the M.P. State Bar Council to re-consider the application filed by Braj Mohan for registration as an Advocate but also imposed a fine of Rs 5000 on the Bar Council, to be paid to Braj Mohan within a month.

 

Tagged: Advocate Enrollment   Advocate Braj Mohan   Criminal Cases   Section 24 of the Advocates Act   Madhya Pradesh High Court   MP State Bar Council   State Bar council  
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