Libertatem Magazine

Supreme Court Closed Proceeding in Case of “in Re: Advocate on Record Includes a Proprietary Firm Etc.”

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Brief facts of the case

Emails from the Petitioner resulted in an administrative decision. An Order of the Supreme Court has drawn up the issue of whether an Advocate on Record can have an entry in the Advocate On Record register in the form of his style of carrying on his profession. For example, instead of being “Siddharth Murarka”, could it be, “Law Chambers of Siddharth Murarka”? 

The petition is based on doing the same filing, and it is not allowed to do so in Supreme Court. However, it is permitted in different High Courts. In his petition, he claims it situates him at a disadvantage against partnership firms since there is no such restriction in the Constitution in case of a partnership firm of Advocates, where two or more Advocates on Record may commence a firm.

Arguments before the court

Counsel/Amicus Curiae Mr Kailash Vasdev, who is Vice-President of the Supreme Court Bar Association and a former Advocate on Record, submitted that in the history of how the Supreme Court Rules were formulated, the Supreme Court of India on being established u/a 124 of the Constitution of India framed Rules in exercise of powers u/a 145 of the Constitution. He highlighted that historically, and presently, the expression used in the Rules is “person” or “agent”. Likewise, the authorisation is referred to as “Him”. 

However, it was further submitted that enrolment of Advocate on Record under Order IV Rule 15 to 29 and Rule 31(originally), had been dealt with and still does so in the amended form under the 2013 Rules. What has turned up is that there could be an Advocate on Record or a firm of Advocates on Record.

Observation of the court

The Supreme Court observed that the expression “Law Chambers” has a history from England and India because, from England, we borrowed a considerable jurisprudence where it refers to a particular lawyer in whose chambers people may be working and carrying on the legal practice. 

The decision of the court

The bench agreed upon the submission made by Amicus Curiae that different styles of writing names are to be allowed for Advocates on Record, can only be done by an exercise to amend the Rules. The bench left the larger issue to the Rule making Authorities to examine whether they would like to expand the registration of Advocates on Record allowing persons to carry on the profession in any sole proprietorship firms, styles, or name. 

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