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Subsequent Acquittal Won't Help: SC Dismisses Plea Of 'Lawyer' Whose Enrollment Was Cancelled For Suppressing Facts About Criminal Case

Ashok Kini
1 March 2019 12:59 PM GMT
Subsequent Acquittal Wont Help: SC Dismisses Plea Of Lawyer Whose Enrollment Was Cancelled For Suppressing Facts About Criminal Case
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"The Appellant would be better advised not to indulge in pursuing the matter pertaining to his enrollment as Advocate."

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the appeal of a man who was not allowed to enroll as a lawyer on the ground that his earlier enrolment was cancelled for suppression of facts and relevant material. Anand Kumar Sharma, who got enrolled as an advocate in the Bar Council of Himachal Pradesh in July, 1988, was removed from the rolls, on the ground that he suppressed the fact that he...

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The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the appeal of a man who was not allowed to enroll as a lawyer on the ground that his earlier enrolment was cancelled for suppression of facts and relevant material.

Anand Kumar Sharma, who got enrolled as an advocate in the Bar Council of Himachal Pradesh in July, 1988, was removed from the rolls, on the ground that he suppressed the fact that he was in Government service in the State of Himachal Pradesh and also about his involvement in a criminal case.

Anand Kumar Sharma had enrolled as an advocate in the Bar Council of Himachal Pradesh in July, 1988. Later BCI allowed his plea to transfer of his enrolment to the State of Rajasthan.

In 1995, the Bar Council of India had cancelled the enrolment of on the ground that he had obtained by suppression of facts and relevant material. This order by BCI was upheld by the Apex court.

Thereafter, he again applied for enrolment. On his plea, the High Court of Rajasthan directed Bar Council of Rajasthan to consider the application for enrollment. The Bar council rejected his application and later BCI upheld the state Bar Council order. This was in the year 2000.

In 2003, the Bar council of Rajasthan again dismissed his yet another application for enrolment. BCI confirmed it once again.

He did not stop even then. He filed yet another application which came to be dismissed on the ground that he has crossed the age of 45 years in view of Rule 1-A of the Enrollment Rules, Bar Council of Rajasthan framed under Section 28 (1) (d) read with Section 24 (1) (e) of the Advocates Act, 1961. However, this Rule was struck down by the High Court of Rajasthan. But in view of earlier order, his application was dismissed by the State Bar council taking into account its earlier orders rejecting his previous applications. BCI confirmed the order again in the year 2012.

This time, he approached the Apex court assailing these orders of state Bar council and BCI.

The bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice MR Shah noted that Sharma was a qualified medical doctor who was appointed as a Medical Officer on contract basis by the Government of Himachal Pradesh. It also observed that the suppression that was alleged against him at the time of seeking enrolment in the Bar Council of Himachal Pradesh pertains to his being in Government service in the State of Himachal Pradesh and his involvement in a criminal case. T

With regard to his contention that he was later acquitted in this criminal case, the court said: "Subsequent acquittal cannot come to the rescue of the Appellant. Section 26 of the Advocates Act, 1961 confers power on the Bar Council of India to remove the name of a person who entered on the Roll of Advocates by misrepresentation. It is in exercise of this power that the enrollment of the Appellant was cancelled."

Dismissing the appeals, the bench said: "The first order that was passed by the Bar Council cancelling his enrolment as an advocate was confirmed by this Court. The repeated attempts made by the Appellant later amount to an abuse of process. The Appellant would be better advised not to indulge in pursuing the matter pertaining to his enrollment as Advocate."

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