National

Ashwini Upadhyay Writes To Bar Council For Debarring Legislators From Practising As Advocates

AASTHA SINGAL | 0
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| December 19 , 2017 , 15:23 IST

BJP spokesperson Ashwini Upadhyay has requested for debarring the MLAs and MPs from practising as advocates in courts of law by writing to Bar Council of India (BCI). Citing the BCI rules and the Supreme Court judgment in Dr Haniraj L Chulani v. Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa, he demanded the execution of his request soon.

The BCI Rule 49 refrains an advocate from serving as a full-time salaried employee of any person, government or firm if they are continuing the practice. Upon taking such employment, the person cannot practice as an advocate till they are working as the employee in the respective establishment.

Upadhyay has raised a voice in the matter earlier in April as well but the Supreme Court dismissed his plea which was seeking restriction on lawmakers from practising any other profession and justified that despite the validation of issue raised by the petitioner, the case doesn't fall under the jurisdiction of Apex Court.

The spokesperson further informed the court that the restriction which is imposed on judges and public servants against the engagement in other professions should also be applied to lawmakers. "Today, I saw five MPs in the Supreme Court. They have come here after signing a register at 11 AM in Parliament," he had advocated but the court replied asking, "Your arguments make sense, but how can we frame policies?"

Upadhyay argued that the members of Parliament "must attend Parliament every day and dedicate themselves full-time to the welfare of people" as they play a very important role in the federal system.

As per PRS estimates, 7 percent of the MPs elected in 16th Lok Sabha are lawyers. Notably, the members of Union legislature and the executive are also lawyers. Some acclaimed names include the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad among others. Also, both the President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu are lawyers as well.

Upadhyay argued that the lawyers from the ruling party refrain from getting being active in the profession, the Opposition leaders like Kapil Sibal are often seen taking up cases. His colleague Abhishek Manu Singhvi is also among the few names which are regular in the Supreme Court.