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SC Reserves Judgement on PIL Seeking a Ban on Legislators from Practising Law

Team SoOLEGAL 10 Jul 2018 11:00am

SC Reserves Judgement on PIL Seeking a Ban on Legislators from Practising Law

The Central government on Monday opposed the PIL filed by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking a ban on MPs and MLAs from practicing law.

Upadhyay, in his plea, alleged that MPs/MLAs practising as advocates poses a “conflict of interest” under the provisions of the Advocates Act, 1961, and the Bar Council of India (BCI) Rules.

The PIL was heard by the three-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.

Attorney General (AG) KK Venugopal, representing the Centre, told the SC bench that the proposition that a salaried employee cannot be allowed to practice as a lawyer is not justifiable. He further said that, MP/MLA is an elected representative and not a full-time employee of the Government of India.

“They are doing a public service in their capacity as an MP. You can’t stop a person from practising a profession. It is a fundamental right to carry on a profession”, the AG argued.

However, senior Counsel Shekhar Naphade, representing the petitioner, told the Court that a legislator draws a salary from the public exchequer and a salaried employee is debarred by the BCI from practising in the courts of law.

Following Naphade’s submission, CJI Misra noted that MPs/MLAs are public servants only for a limited purpose.

Further, Justice Chandrachud pointed out to Naphade that,

“Employment postulates a master-servant relationship. The government of India is not the master of an MP.”

After an elaborate hearing, the Court reserved its judgement in the matter.

Tagged: Central Government   BJP Leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay   MPs   MLAs   Attorney General KK Venugopal   Bar Council of India   Legislators   Supreme Court  
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