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D Saibaba vs Bar Council of India

D Saibaba vs Bar Council of India AIR 2003 Supreme Court 2502 (D/-06.05.2003)

Courtesy: Ashok Agarwal, Social Jurist, New Delhi

D Saibaba appealed to the Supreme Court for reversal of the Bar Council decision to remove his name from the Roll of Advocates on the grounds that he was allotted an STD booth that was operated by his parents.

The details

The appellant is a person with an orthopedic handicap. He was allotted an STD booth in the quota of handicapped persons to earn a livelihood. As time went by he graduated from Law school and was enrolled as a lawyer under the Advocates Act, 1961. Thereafter, he commenced apprenticeship where he served his legal duties from 10 am to 5 pm by attending the Courts in the chambers of his senior. In the meantime, his father had retired from service, and took up the task of looking after of the STD booth.

As the allotment stood in the name of the appellant, he was advised by the Bar Council to surrender the booth. He sought time on the ground that there were outstanding dues that needed to be collected which would be difficult to do if he abruptly surrendered the booth.

The case

The Bar Council, however, was not inclined to give more time and issued an order for the cancellation of his name from the Roll of Advocates.

Faced with this situation, the appellant, within a few days of the order of the Bar Council, surrendered the license to operate the STD booth and appealed to the Bar Council to recall or suitably modify its earlier order directing deletion of his name from roll of Advocates in view of his corrective action.

The judgment

The Supreme Court held that the Bar Council should have condoned the innocuous lapse on the part of the appellant by exercising its Review jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court further held that the Bar Council should have taken a sympathetic view and permitted the appellant to continue in his work to becoming a full fledged lawyer, after surrendering the booth.

In view of these observations, the Supreme Court impugned that the order of the Bar Council should be set aside and that the enrolment of the appellant as an advocate be restored.

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