Indian rules outdated by four decades: UK justice secy | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Indian rules outdated by four decades: UK justice secy

The UK is hopeful of mutually beneficial ties with India in the legal sector but views the rules governing access to foreign players here as "outdated by around 30-40 years" in comparison to other countries.

delhi Updated: Sep 28, 2011 23:43 IST
Nagendar Sharma

The UK is hopeful of mutually beneficial ties with India in the legal sector but views the rules governing access to foreign players here as "outdated by around 30-40 years" in comparison to other countries.

The UK Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, told HT at the conclusion of his visit, that his discussions with his Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid and representatives of the Bar Council of India were fruitful.

"In terms of cooperation we are looking at providing high quality corporate legal advice here to the players in the business world, like in other parts of the globe," Clarke, a senior leader of the ruling Conservative Party said.

Clarke said UK law firms and lawyers interested in entering the Indian market are looking for arrangements to enter the "non-litigation legal sector."

"Indian lawyers and law firms are free to work in London and other places," he said.

The senior minister in the David Cameron cabinet said, "no British lawyer wants to appear in Indian courts and there would be no offices of the British law firms on Indian high streets."

Asked whether his country was upset with the strong regulatory framework, which had prevented the entry of foreign law firms in India, Clarke said the scenario had changed a lot, though some concerns remain.

"Given the scale of your economy and its sophistication, I am surprised that India still has rules on the grant of access that are 30-40 years behind than what we have," he said.

But Clarke downplayed the delay in signing of a MoU between the law and justice ministries of the two countries.

Clarke said a letter of intent has been signed, which includes cooperation in the fields of legislative drafting, exchange of views on issues such as appointment of judges.