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Only Advocates Can Plead And Argue On Behalf Of Litigants Before Courts: Calcutta HC [Read Order]

Ashok Kini
23 Feb 2019 3:43 AM GMT
Only Advocates Can Plead And Argue On Behalf Of Litigants Before Courts: Calcutta HC [Read Order]
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"Acting and appearing for another will not include a right to plead or argue before a court of law."

The Calcutta High Court has held that only Advocates enrolled under Advocates Act are authorised to plead and argue on behalf of litigants before a court of law. Radha Nath Nandy, who appeared in person, contended that he is the constituted attorney of the defendant in a Testamentary suit and has been authorized to act and argue, including signing affidavits, applications, etc as...

The Calcutta High Court has held that only Advocates enrolled under Advocates Act are authorised to plead and argue on behalf of litigants before a court of law.

Radha Nath Nandy, who appeared in person, contended that he is the constituted attorney of the defendant in a Testamentary suit and has been authorized to act and argue, including signing affidavits, applications, etc as a "recognized agent" under Chapter I of the Original Side Rules of the Calcutta High Court.

Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya referred to Section 2(15) of the CPC, Order III Rule 1 and 2 of the CPC, Chapter I, Rules 1 and 5 of The Original Side Rules, sections 8 and 29 of The Advocates Act, 1961 and observed:

"On a conjoint reading of the aforesaid provisions, three propositions emerge; first, Order III Rule 1 specifically excludes the expression "plead" from the purview of "appearing" or "acting". The expression plead, on the other hand, arises from the definition of "Pleader" under section 2 (15) of the CPC. Second, advocates, vakils and attorneys of a High Court have been specifically included in the class of those who are entitled to plead for another before a court. Third, "pleading" as an exclusive domain has been formalized under Chapter I Rule 1 (i) (a) of the Original Side Rules which has specifically excluded "pleading" from "acting". Rule 6 lays down the procedure by which a party can be entitled to act and plead for another."

The court also observed that acting and appearing for another will not include a right to plead or argue before a court of law.

"It is clear from the decisions as well as the relevant statutes and Rules, that a special class of persons, namely, Advocates enrolled under The Advocates Act, 1961, have been authorised to plead and argue before a court of law. It should further be noted that the "special reason" of permitting "any other person" under Rule 5 of chapter 1 of The Original Side Rules relate only to appearance and not pleading. This is in consonance with Rule 1 (i) (a) which specifically mentions various acts which a person authorized or a recognized agent can do "other than pleading"."

The court then dismissed the application filed by Radhanath Nandy.


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