SC reserves verdict on plea seeking ban on MPs/MLAs practising as advocates

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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.


News

MPs/MLAs can practise as Advocates

  1. The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its verdict on a plea seeking a ban on members of Parliament and legislative assemblies practising as advocates.
  2. 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.
  3. However, he added, that such a ban was present in case of a minister.
  4. 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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Another instance would be counsel thinking about their clients’ interests while passing a bill in their capacity as legislators.
  4. It was sought that a ban on legislators practising as advocates till the period that they are occupying such positions.
Judiciary Institutional Issues
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