MPs, MLAs must be allowed to practise law: Bar committee

The Bar Council of India said they felt the issue needs deeper consideration and adjourned for a week.

india Updated: Feb 04, 2018 23:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Bar Council of India,MPs,MLAs
Lawyers outside Supreme Court. (Mint File Photo)

An expert committee of the Bar Council of India (BCI) has recommended that MPs, MLAs and MLCs be allowed to pursue a legal practice despite being elected as legislators, officials said on Sunday.

Three of the committee’s four members, BC Thakur, Rameshchandra G Shah and DP Dhal, in their report, have recommended that elected officials be allowed to practise law subject to certain conditions.

The fourth member who was co-opted in the committee, Prabhakaran, differed on the issue.

The report of the committee was discussed by the BCI in its general body meeting on Sunday but no decision was taken.

“The bar council has deferred from taking a call on the issue. We feel that it needs deeper consideration and it was decided that the matter be adjourned for a week,” informed Manan Kumar Mishra, chairman,Bar Council of India.

The matter of whether elected officials can continue to practise law was raised by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.

Upadhyay had, in his complaint, questioned, the dual role played by MPs and MLAs when they practice law.

“ I have contested this on several grounds. This is illegal and unconstitutional. It is also unethical and immoral,” he said.

“Legislators are expected to put in full-time service to the public and their constituents ahead of their personal interests. Nobility of the profession of law also has to be preserved and protected. Therefore, provisions of the Advocates Act and the BCI rules must be given effect in letter and spirit to maintain a clean and efficient bar, reads Upadhayay’s complaint.

On receiving this complaint, BCI had sent out notices to eminent MP/ MLA lawyers like Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhivi, Bhupendra Yadav and others for their responses on the issue.

First Published: Feb 04, 2018 23:08 IST