Appearing in an advertisement has landed one of the country’s well-known architects, Hafeez Contractor, in trouble.
The Council of Architecture, a statutory body responsible for regulating the practice of the profession throughout the country, has found Contractor guilty of professional misconduct, and suspended his licence for a year.
Contractor was let off by the council in a similar case in 2002 after he issued an apology. He was then warned by the council not to allow his name to be used in any advertisement.
As per the Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989, architects are not allowed to advertise their professional services or let their name be included in advertisement or publicity purpose.
Contractor had appeared in a Hewlett Packard (HP) ad published in several national dailies and an international magazine in 2007.
A Delhi-based architect, Sudhir Vohra, filed a complaint against him in March 2007. “I filed the complaint to ensure that laws and regulations are followed in spirit by everyone,” said Vohra.
Contractor was asked to appear before the disciplinary committee, which, he claims, exonerated him of all charges. The council then called him to appear before the Bar of the Council at Alleppey in Kerala in January this year.
Contractor, however, claims he could not attend the hearing as the previous night the Income Tax department had raided his premises and he was not allowed to move out or even speak to people on the telephone.
Contractor said he did not get a date to put across his point of view to the Council of Architecture.
“The ad belongs to HP who have sent a letter stating the same to the council,” he said. “It is not my ad neither have I taken money from HP for appearing in the ad.”
When asked whether the technology firm had used his photograph without his permission, he skirted the question. He has said he would fight the council’s decision in court.
In 2002, the architect had appeared in an ad of a sanitary ware maker and a similar case had been filed against him.
The council found him guilty of professional misconduct and let him off with a warning.