Mains Paper 2: Polity | Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Judgement of Supreme Court
Mains level: Debate over MPs/MLAs practising as advocates.
MPs/MLAs can practise as Advocates
- The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its verdict on a plea seeking a ban on members of Parliament and legislative assemblies practising as advocates.
- The attorney general of India, K.K. Venugopal, argued that such a prohibition did not exist in law and there was no ‘full time’ ‘employment’ between a government and MPs/MLAs.
- However, he added, that such a ban was present in case of a minister.
- The Bar Council of India had, on a previous occasion, informed the court that they were not opposed to legislators practicing law.
Why was Ban demanded?
- The plea alleges that MPs/MLAs practising as advocates pose a “conflict of interest” under the provisions of the Advocates Act, 1961, and the Bar Council of India Rules.
- The dual role would also amount to professional misconduct when MPs and MLAs, who get salary and other benefits from public funds, may appear against the government as lawyers.
- Another instance would be counsel thinking about their clients’ interests while passing a bill in their capacity as legislators.
- It was sought that a ban on legislators practising as advocates till the period that they are occupying such positions.