Advocate Cannot Be Sued For Cheating For Not Obtaining Favourable Order: Karnataka High Court
A single Bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj of Karnataka High Court while allowing a Writ Petition has quashed a complaint filed by a client against his Advocate for offences under Sections 406 and 420 of IPC, on the allegation that his Advocate had failed to obtain a favourable order from the Apex Court.
The Bench on perusal of the complaint found that the statement attributed to the petitioner was that the petitioner would introduce and refer the matter to a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court who could represent the complainant's matter and obtain favourable orders and also that the petitioner would appear before the Apex Court in a matter of the complainant.
It was further alleged that when the matter was taken up for further hearing before the Supreme Court and at the end of the day when the complainant enquired about the status of the case from the petitioner, the latter did not inform him properly. The complainant suspected the bonafides of the petitioner and filed a criminal complaint against the Petitioner.
Senior Counsel G.Krishnamurthy appeared for the Petitioner while Counsel Thontadharya R.K. appeared for Respondent No. 1 before the Court.
The Court quashed the complaint and observed "An advocate can only appear and make his best efforts in the matter. No advocate can either state or hold out that he would obtain favourable orders nor could a client believe that an Advocate will definitely obtain favourable orders just because he has made payment of the fees to the Advocate."
The Court also held, "Merely because a client were not to succeed in the matter and favourable orders were not passed in favour of that particular client, the said client cannot make out a case that there is a fraud which has been committed by the Advocate and offence under Sections 406 and 420 of IPC which has been committed by an Advocate. That would lead to disastrous consequences."
The Court further observed that only because the client could not succeed in the matter, it does not give him the grounds to initiate legal proceedings against his Advocate as a huge amount has been paid as fees to the Advocate.
The bench further expressed that "It is for all litigants to understand that an Advocate can only make best efforts in the matter and the case would be decided on the basis of merits. In a Adversarial system like that in our Country were one party initiates a litigation against the other it is bound to happen that one will win and other will lose which is on the basis of the facts of the case and the law applicable."
Accordingly, the Court allowed the Petition and quashed the proceedings that arose out of the criminal complaint filed against the Petitioner.
Cause Title- KS Mahadevan vs. Cyprian Menezes