Lawyers are responsible for deficiency of service: SC

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New Delhi, Jan 28 (UNI) The Supreme Court today said lawyers are covered under the Consumer Protection Act and are liable to be held responsible for deficiency of service.

A bench comprising Justices P P Naolekar and Lokeshwar Singh Panta issued notices on a petition challenging an order of the National Consumer Commission dated August 6 ,2007 filed by Delhi High Court Bar Association as well as Bar of Indian Lawyers directing advocate M Mathai to pay Rs 3000 as compensation and Rs 1000 as cost of litigation to the complainant D K Gandhi.

According to the petitioner, a lawyer cannot be covered under the Consumer Protection Act as he cannot assure success because the judgement has to be delivered by the judges and the lawyer can only argue on behalf of his client.

The petitioner said other professionals like doctors are in charge of their case therefore they are covered under the Act.

The District Consumer Forum found the advocate guilty of deficiency of service in 1998. Delhi State Consumer Commission however had set aside the order of the District Consumer Forum.

The National Consumer Commission however had restored the order of District Consumer Forum, Delhi.

The petitioner have also contended that the power of attorney signed by the client clearly says there is no term of contract as to the liability of the lawyer in case he fails to do any act he have been authourised to do by the client on his bahalf.

The Supreme Court also issued notices to D K Gandhi and M Mathai on the petition.

UNI AKS/SC JT RP KP1815

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