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thomas cleary

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“An advocate shall, at all times, comport himself in a manner befitting his status as an officer of the Court, a privileged member of the community, and a gentleman, bearing in mind that what may be lawful and moral for a person who is not a member of the Bar, or for a member of the Bar in his non-professional capacity may still be improper for an Advocate. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing obligation, an Advocate shall fearlessly uphold the interests of his client, and in his conduct conform to the rules hereinafter mentioned both in letter and in spirit. The rules hereinafter mentioned contain canons of conduct and etiquette adopted as general guides; yet the specific mention thereof shall not be construed as a denial of the existence of other equally imperative though not specifically mentioned.”-The Bar is not a private guild, like that of ‘barbers, butchers and candlestick-makers’ but, by bold contrast, a public institution committed to public justice and pro bono publico service. The grant of a monopoly licence to practice law is based on three assumptions: (1) There is a socially useful function for the lawyer to perform, (2) The lawyer is a professional person who will perform that function, and (3) His performance as a professional person is regulated by himself not more formally, by the profession as a whole. The central function that the legal profession must perform is nothing less than the administration of justice (‘The Practice of Law is a Public Utility’ — ‘The Lawyer, The Public and Professional Responsibility’ by F. Raymond Marks et al — Chicago American Bar Foundation, 1972, p. 288-289). A glance at the functions of the Bar Council, and it will be apparent that a rainbow of public utility duties, including legal aid to the poor, is cast on these bodies in the national hope that the members of this monopoly will serve society and keep to canons of ethics befitting an honourable order. If pathological cases of member misbehaviour occur, the reputation and credibility of the Bar suffer a mayhem and who, but the Bar Council, is more concerned with and sensitive to this potential disrepute the few black sheep bring about? The official heads of the Bar i.e. the Attorney-General and the Advocates-General too are distressed if a lawyer “stoops to conquer” by resort to soliciting, touting and other corrupt practices.”- the respondent-advocate was involved in a very serious professional misconduct by filing vakalatnamas without any authority and later on filing fictitious compromises. The professional misconduct committed by the respondent is extremely grave and serious.-deserves punishment commensurate with the degree of misconduct that meets the twin objectives – deterrence and correction.-Moreover, the respondent-advocate had been previously found to be involved in a professional misconduct and he was reprimanded. Having regard to all these aspects, in our view, it would be just and proper if the respondent-advocate is suspended from practice for a period of three years from today. We order accordingly. 19. The order passed by the Disciplinary Committee, BCI is modified and the respondent-advocate is awarded punishment for his professional misconduct, as indicated above. Civil Appeal is allowed to that extent with no order as to costs. 20. The Registrar shall send copies of the order to the Secretary, State Bar Council, Uttar Pradesh and the Secretary, Bar Council of India immediately.

REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6363 OF 2004   Narain Pandey …. Appellant Versus Pannalal Pandey ….Respondent —–   JUDGMENT R.M. Lodha, J.   The complainant is in appeal under Section 38 of the Advocates Act, 1961 (for short, ‘1961 Act’) aggrieved by the judgment and order … Continue reading

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