The Bombay High Court on Thursday refused to grant any relief to Advocate Gunratan Sadavarte who has challenged an order of the disciplinary committee of the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa (BCMG) suspending his licence to practice law for two years.

A division bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Neela Gokhale directed him to approach the Bar Council of India (BCI) and said he could move HC again if the BCI did not take up his appeal.

Sadavarte had challenged the decision taken by the association's three-member disciplinary committee that found him guilty under section 35 of the Advocates Act.

The committee was set up following a complaint claiming Sadavarte had participated in a protest at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai wearing his advocates' band, which was in violation of the advocates ethics code.

"The licence to practice issued by BCMG to respondent advocate Gunratan Sadavarte is hereby suspended for a period of two years from the date of the service of the order on him," as per an email sent by the secretary of the association last month said.

Sadavarte, in his petition against the suspension of his licence, said the committee had refused to provide him necessary documents relied upon by them while passing the final order.

The association's counsel Darius Khambata, however, argued all necessary documents were furnished to Sadavarte.

The bench noted there was a statutory appeal provided under the Advocates Act, which provided for a full-fledged hearing.

"We will not pronounce on anything because it will affect your appellate remedy. It will affect your case. We are not dismissing your petition, we will keep it pending. We are allowing you an opportunity. We are not forcing you to file an appeal and IA in appeal seeking stay. If they do not allow urgent hearing, then you can approach this court," HC said.

Sadavarte, who had appeared in several matters in HC, including those pertaining to the Maratha reservation and strike called by MSRTC employees, is also accused of orchestrating the protest outside NCP chief Sharad Pawar's residence.

With PTI Inputs