Suspension Of License Even For Few Months Has Adverse Consequences To An Advocate: Bombay HC
The Bombay High Court has observed that suspension of the license of an advocate even for a few months has severe adverse consequences to the advocate.
“Even an order of suspension of a few months, and indeed the very imposition or handing down of that order, has very severe adverse consequences to an advocate, his standing, his reputation and perhaps most of all his future prospects.”, the bench of Justice G.S. Patel and Justice Neela Gokhale observed.
The Court made this observation while dealing with a plea by an Advocate whose license has been suspended by the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa (BCMG) for a period of six months.
The Petitioner-Advocate had filed an appeal to the Bar Council of India (“BCI”) and has filed an Interim Application for stay.
The Court noted that the petitioner was justified in seeking a direction that the stay application in appeal must be heard on a priority basis and that the appeal itself should be disposed of at the earliest possible.
The Court further noted that a distinction should be drawn between what an Advocate does in his capacity as an advocate and what he does when he goes about his routine affairs and daily life as any other person may do.
“There is a distinction to be drawn between what an Advocate does in his capacity as an advocate and what he does when he goes about his routine affairs and daily life as any other person may do. The two are not to be conflated.”, the Court observed.
Advocate MJ Nedumpara appeared for the Petitioner, Advocate Makrand Bakore appeared for BCMG and AGP PJ Gavhane appeared for the State.
The Court requested the BCI to decide the stay application as expeditiously as possible and preferably before April 28 2023 and the appeal itself as soon as possible thereafter.
“If the stay application is decided in favour of the Petitioner, then of course the BCI will schedule the final hearing of the appeal at its convenience. But if that stay application is refused, then we would request the BCI to dispose of the appeal itself no later than by 12th May 2023.”, the Court directed.
The Court clarified that it had only deferred a consideration even of interim relief only because the counsel for the petitioner had stated that an appeal has been filed along with an accompanying application for interim relief. The Court added that if the Interim Application in appeal is not even being considered, then the petitioner will be at liberty to renew his application before the High Court for interim relief.
Cause Title- Amresh Sharma v. Bar Council of India & Ors