The Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa has barred a senior lawyer from representing a company before any court or quasi-judicial authority, on grounds that he is a shareholder in the same firm.
The bar council gave the order while hearing a petition filed by consumer activist Rakshpal Abrol against DJ Kakalia, a partner in a legal firm.
Abrol alleged that Kakalia had violated the standards of professional conduct and etiquette because he had a pecuniary interest in Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra), which he was representing before the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) as well as other quasi-judicial authorities and courts.
However, Kakalia contended that he held just one share in RInfra and thus did not have any financial interest in the company. He also alleged that the petitioner was acting at the behest of his clients’ competitors.
The bar council’s advocate member Anil Singh dismissed the petition, but directed Kakalia to file an undertaking within four weeks from the order, stating he would not represent RInfra in an individual capacity. The order was conveyed to the lawyer on June 4. Abrol then wrote to the bar council on August 28, seeking disciplinary action against Kakalia for not furnishing the undertaking.
PY Ranpise, secretary of the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa said Kakalia had appealed against the order before the Bar Council of India.