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Gujrat HC quashes application of CA seeking enrollment as Lawyer in Bar Council

Team SoOLEGAL 6 Sep 2017 5:09pm

Gujrat HC quashes application of CA seeking enrollment as Lawyer in Bar Council

The Gujrat HC last week refused the counseling and admission of practicing Chartered Accountant as a lawyer with Bar Council to practice law. You can’t sit on two chairs with one behind, the Court Said.

A CA consultant in a corporation with a contract in the nature of a full-time job is not eligible for admission as a lawyer to practice law.

The Gujrat High Court bench comprising Justice Rajesh H. Shukla, was hearing a plea presented by Mr. Mam Raj Goel (Chartered Accountant) under Article 226 of the Constitution, stated that he shouldn’t be barred from enrollment as he wasn’t a salaried employee. He also contended that Section 24 and 28 of the Advocates Act, 1961, framed by the Bar Association cannot deny his eligibility for enrollment in the Bar Council of India as an Advocate for practice of law.

The petitioner was a certified Chartered Accountant professional and member of the Institute of the Chartered Accountant of India and had engaged in practicing CA. However, the Petitioner was also a graduate in LLB, despite holding a professional Law degree, his application to practice law was denied by the Members of the Bar Council of Gujrat High Court.

The petitioner contended as per the Rule 49 of the Bar Council of India Rules, does not in any way restricts the membership as an Advocate. Also challenged the constitutional validity of the provisions of the Advocate Act, 1961, terming it ultra vires. He argued that any contrary law introduced by the Bar Council regarding the enrollment procedures are unfair and discriminatory, hence, cannot deny the enrollment.

It also argued that being a CA professional, he was only gathering experience in the laws related to the commercial branches i.e. Income Tax, Partnership Act, Companies Act, or Debt Recovery Tribunal, etc. 

He stated that he is allowed to practice CA under the Chartered Accountant Act, 1949, and also highlighted that ICAI only grants CA practice to those candidates, who holds a law degree.

The Court observed:

The Gujrat High Court observed that admission as a member of Bar council is subject to the laws passed by the Parliament. Section 28 of the Advocate Act, authorizes Bar Council which is an apex body to make provisions in the enrollment rules for the members of the Bar Council. The bench also expressed that Rule 49 which the petitioner sought to be interpreted in a different manner that it does not restrict the enrollment, could not be readily believed or accepted.   

The Court also highlighted that if a person fully engaged in a different profession like CA must have to leave behind his obligations, otherwise the person cannot switch as an Advocate or lawyer for practice of law, if he continues to stay in the same profession of Chartered Accountant.    

Read the Order here:

Gujrat HC   Justice Rajesh H. Shukla   LLB   practice law   Companies Act   Chartered Accountant Act  

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