Example Of Degrading Legal Profession: Bombay HC Condemns Two Lawyers For Misconduct & Misleading Court, Calls Back Inquiry Order On Apology
The Bombay High Court, Aurangabad Bench has condemned two lawyers for misconduct and misleading the court saying that it is an example of a degrading legal profession.
A Single Bench of Justice S.G. Mehare observed, “This is an example of degrading the legal profession. One can understand from this case how much the litigant overpowered the profession, and law practitioners are providing result-oriented services to please the client without bothering their carrier. The level of misleading the Court also reached the zenith. It’s a matter of serious concern. Whom to believe is a big question. Unfortunately, the newly entered junior lawyers are also involved in such practice by their seniors.”
However, on an apology by the said lawyers, the Bench called back the order of inquiry against them.
Advocate Bhosle Abhaysinh K. appeared on behalf of the applicant while APP V.N. Patil Jadhav and APP Shardul G. Shinde appeared on behalf of the State and complainant.
In this case, the applicant was seeking bail for a crime registered for the offence punishable under Sections 307 and 299 of the Indian Penal Code. However, the counsel S.G. Shinde appeared and made a statement that he had instructions to appear for the complainant and hence, the time was granted to him to take the instructions.
The matter was listed for hearing and suddenly it was revealed that instead of the injured or the complainant, the affidavit of the eyewitness was filed and she gave no objection to bail. The said counsel for the applicant received its copy in advance and it was a misleading attempt of the counsel and accused to secure a bail. The eyewitness and the applicant were living in-relationship and clear inference was drawn that he sent her to his counsel to swear in the affidavit.
The High Court in the above context noted, “The injured was kept in the dark. The counsel for the applicant is senior to the counsel appearing for the eyewitness, and they are practicing together. This was the level of practice to mislead the Court to please the client. Though the learned counsel for the applicant explained that it was his inadvertent mistake, the facts do not support believing him. His Junior appears to have unnecessarily brought in trouble. He had an opportunity to deny filing such an application, but he did not deny and filed the affidavit of the eye witness.”
The Court said that the conduct of the lawyers appearing for the respective parties is a clear misconduct and hence liable to be referred to the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa.
“For maintaining discipline in the profession, the matter is referred to the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa for action against both lawyers for misconduct and misleading the Court. … The conduct of the applicant itself is a good ground for rejecting the bail. On merit, also he deserves no bail. Hence, the application stands dismissed. Hence it is dismissed. The Criminal Application to assist learned APP stands disposed of accordingly”, said the Court.
The Court, thereafter, observed that later both lawyers came before it with the office bearers of the Bar Association, and sought an unconditional apology and expressed to submit a written unconditional apology. It also noted that they requested to expunge the remarks on their conduct and not to refer the matter to the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa and stated that it was their mistake.
“Their professional life may be ruined if an inquiry against them is conducted. Considering the unconditional apology they have submitted and the future of the Junior lawyer, keeping the observations on record, the order directing inquiry and action by the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa is called back”, directed the Court.
Accordingly, the Court issued necessary directions.
Cause Title- Lakhan Pralhad Misal v. The State of Maharashtra