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Centre, Bar body against ads by advocates

Petitioner VB Joshi urges the Supreme Court to declare Rule 36 of the BCI rule archaic, reports Bhadra Sinha.

india Updated: Aug 23, 2007 04:38 IST
Bhadra Sinha

The Centre and the Bar Council of India (BCI) have opposed a petition urging the Supreme Court to allow advocates to advertise their services. Both argued that advocates are responsible not only to their clients, but also to society.



Petitioner VB Joshi has urged the Supreme Court to declare Rule 36 of the BCI rule archaic, and amend it so lawyers can advertise their services. According to Joshi, the half-a-million odd lawyers, arbitrators and legal experts in India can offer their services to the world, with the help of advertising.



Arguing before a three-judge bench comprising Justice BN Aggarwal, Justice PP Naolekar and Justice P Sathasivam, senior advocate MN Krishnaswami vehemently opposed the petition on behalf of BCI. Krishnaswami said lawyers in India cannot be permitted to advertise as the legal profession is not a trade.



He added that the Supreme Court has already adjudicated on a similar issue, where it upheld Rule 36 of the BCI code that restrains lawyers from advertising either directly or indirectly.