Bar Council Of Maharashtra & Goa Warns Advocates Against Giving Advertisements In Newspapers And Whatsapp
"All Advocates in State of Maharashtra & Goa are hereby prohibited from making any kind of advertisement."
The Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa on Saturday wrote to all the bar associations in Maharashtra and Goa on the subject "Prohibition of making advertisement in the newspaper/WhatsApp by advocates". The letter states-
"As per Rule 36 Section IV Part VI of Chapter II of the Bar Council of India Rules framed under Section 49 of the Advocate's Act 1961, advertisement by an advocate is strictly prohibited."
In the said letter, written by Advocate Pravin Ranpise, Secretary, Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa, the example of Punjab and Haryana Bar Council is given and how the said Rules were reiterated to the lawyers.
Advocate Ranpise spoke to Live Law, read the excerpts-
Were there many instances wherein advocates or firms were found advertising on WhatsApp etc?
Yes, there were. Advocates cannot advertise as per the rules. See unless someone complains to us, how would we know? How do we know that an Advocate from Pune is making an advertisement? So, this should be a notice to the Bar Council and BCI can ask the advocates for an explanation.
Are you writing to the BCI as well about these violations?
There is no need to inform, this is the Advocate's Act. There is a strict prohibition on advertisements for advocates.
The letter finally states-
"In the event of notice of such type of advertisement made by advocates, immediate action shall be taken by the State Bar Council regarding misconduct.
Thus, all the advocates in the States of Maharashtra and Goa are prohibited from making any such advertisements."BCI Rules on Advertising
Section IV of Chapter II of Part VI of Bar Council of India Rules provides as follows:
An advocate shall not solicit work or advertise, either directly or indirectly, whether by circulars, advertisements, touts, personal communications, interviews not warranted by personal relations, furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments or producing his photographs to be published in connection with cases in which he has been engaged or concerned. His sign-board or name-plate should be of a reasonable size. The sign-board or name-plate or stationery should not indicate that he is or has been President or Member of a Bar Council or of any Association or that he has been associated with any person or organisation or with any particular cause or matter or that he specialises in any particular type of worker or that he has been a Judge or an Advocate General.
SC on Advertisement by Advocates.
Justice Krishna Iyer in Bar Council Of Maharashtra vs M. V. Dabholkar had observed
The canons of ethics and propriety for the legal profession totally taboo conduct by way of soliciting, advertising, scrambling and other obnoxious practices, subtle or clumsy, for betterment of legal business. Law is no trade, briefs no merchandise and so the leaven of commercial competition or procurement should not vulgarise the legal profession.