(Source: Supreme Court of India website)

Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Seeking To Bar Legislators From Practicing As Advocates

The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea seeking to bar legislators from practicing as advocates during their tenure.

“The Bar Council of India rules do not prohibit legislators from practicing as lawyers,” the three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India said.

The public interest litigation in the apex court was filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay. The central government had opposed the petition during the hearing. Earlier, the Bar Council of India had rejected a representation made by Upadhyay seeking to stop legislators from practicing law.

‘’When public servants are not permitted to practice any business, vocation or profession in addition to their duties, allowing parliamentarians who are supposed to discharge larger public duties faithfully to practice any business, vocation, profession is unreasonable hence, in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.’’ the petitioner had written to the top court.

"It is a matter of common knowledge that many successful professionals including doctors, lawyers, actors and players choose to become member of Parliament, however, instead of devoting their full time in fulfilling their duties and responsibility as a parliamentarian, they spent most of the time in furthering their own business, vocation or profession with the use of privileges and insider information available to them as members of Parliament.’’

The case was heard by the bench headed by Chief Justice of India Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud. The judgement in the case was reserved on July 9, 2018.