Sunday, September 3, 2023

Supreme Court Upholds Disciplinary Action Against Advocate Who Was Running Taxi Service

SC Upholds BCI’s Decision Barring Lawyer From Practice For One Year

The Supreme Court recently upheld the disciplinary action taken by the Bar Council of India(BCI) against an advocate who was running a taxi service. The advocate was barred from practice for one year due to his professional misconduct.

The bench comprising Justices Abhay S. Oka and Justice Pankaj Mithal was hearing an appeal filed by an advocate against the BCI’s decision to bar him from practice over professional misconduct.

The case revolved around two key allegations. First, it was established that the advocate had represented conflicting parties in cases. The advocate had initially represented a complainant, his brother, and his mother in a legal matter. Subsequently, the advocate took on the case of the complainant's mother, who was suing the complainant over the same land.

The second, more serious allegation centred on the advocate's involvement in running a taxi service. The Disciplinary Committee found that there is a striking similarity in the first name of the registered owner of the vehicle used for business and the appellant. Moreover, the name of the father of the appellant and the registered owner was the same and the vehicle was registered at the address of the appellant.

The Court observed, “The second allegation is of a very serious nature. The Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council found that the appellant was having a business of running taxi service….The findings of the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council are based on documentary evidence. Therefore, we find no error in the action taken by the Disciplinary Committee when for the aforesaid misconduct, the appellant was directed not to practice law for a period of one year.”

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