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Should sitting MPs, MLAs practise law? SC seeks attorney general’s help

The petitioner’s counsel asked the Supreme Court to call for a response from the Bar Council of India. However, the bench said it would hear the AG first before proceeding.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2018 08:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Bar Council of India,PIL filed,Supreme Court
A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking barring of serving MPs, MLAs and MLCs from practising as advocates in courts across India during their entire tenure as lawmakers. (File photo)

The Supreme Court sought Attorney General (AG) KK Venugopal’s assistance on Friday in a public interest litigation (PIL) that wants a judicial order to debar sitting Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) from the legal profession as long as they remain law makers.

The petitioner’s counsel, senior advocate Sukumar Pattajoshi, asked the court to call for a response from the Bar Council of India (BCI), the apex body of lawyers. However, the bench said it would hear the AG first before proceeding.

The petitioner, advocate AK Upadhyay, claims that in the spirit of BCI rules sitting lawmakers should not be allowed to practise law.

Some prominent leaders in the profession are Congress MPs Kapil Sibal, P Chidamabaram, and KTS Tulsi; BJP MPs Meenakshi Lekhi and Pinaki Misra; and BSP leader Satish Misra.

Alternatively, the petitioner has asked the court to issue a direction to quash the BCI rule, which prohibits public servants in service from practising as advocates.

Upadhyaya moved Supreme Court after BCI’s sub-committee ruled in favour of sitting lawmakers.

Senior advocate Amrendra Sharan said, “There can’t be a restriction because its not a full time job. Moreover, there is no bar for advocates to be law makers and largely its in the interest of the nation that lawyers are parliamentarians as they are well informed.”

First Published: Feb 16, 2018 23:03 IST