The Bar Council of India has sought to know why it cannot bar Members of Parliament and Members of State Legislative Assemblies from practising. The BCI sought to know why those MPs and MLAs doubling up as advocates should not be barred from practise.
The question was asked on a plea filed by an advocate, Ashwini Upadhyay seeking to bar legislators from practise. He contended that MPs and MLAs are salaried public servants and they cannot be riding two horses at a time.
There are at least 500 lawmakers who are practising advocates in various courts including the Supreme Court of India. The BCI will now issue notices to the MPs and MLAs and also seek their response in the matter.
A meeting of the BCI is scheduled to be held on January 21 where a final decision would be taken after examining the Advocates Act. In the petitio, it was contended that legislators draw salaries from the consolidated fund of India and hence are employees of the state. Under the BCI rules a salaried employee is restricted from practising as an advocate, the petitioner pointed out. It was also stated such practise amounted to professional misconduct.