Topic: P D Khandekar vs The Bar Council of Maharashtra - Improper legal advice

Pandurang Dattatreya Khandekar vs The Bar Council Of Maharashtra
Equivalent citations: 1984 AIR 110, 1984 SCR (1) 414 - Bench: Sen, A.P. (J), Venkataramiah, E.S. (J), Misra, R.B. (J) - Citation: 1984 Air 110 1984 Scr (1) 414, 1984 Scc (2) 556 1983 Scale (2)495 - Date of Judgment: 10/10/1983

ACT:

Appellate Jurisdiction-Appeal under Section 38 of the Advocates Act,    1961-Interference by the concurrent finding of fact     by the     Disciplinary Committee     of the Bar Council- Degree of proof required for    a Disciplinary     Proceeding, explained.

Advocates    Act, 1961, Section    35 (1)-Professional Misconduct, meaning of-Distinction between giving of wrong advice and improper legal advice-The    having    of improper legal advice, may amount to professional misconduct.

HEADNOTE:

The appellant and another advocate were found guilty of professional misconduct by the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council of India by its order dated April 23, 1976. The gravamen of the charge against them related to the giving of improper legal     advice on two specific counts.     The Disciplinary Committee    held them guilty on both counts and ordered the suspension of the appellant from practice for a period of four months-and the other advocate for a period of two months.

Allowing the appeal in part, the Court

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HELD: 1.1    This Court would not, as a general rule, in an appeal under s. 38 of the Advocates Act, 1961, interfere with the concurrent    findings of fact reached by     the Disciplinary Committee    of the Bar Council of India and of the State Bar Council    unless they are based on no evidence or proceed on mere conjectures and surmises. Finding in such disciplinary proceedings must be sustained by higher degree of proof than that required in civil suits,    yet falling short of the proof required to sustain a conviction in criminal prosecution.     There should be     convincing preponderance of evidence [419 B-C

2.1 The test of what constitutes "grossly improper conduct in the discharge of professional duties" was been laid down in many cases. The test to be applied is whether an advocate, in the pursuit of his profession, has    done something with    regard    to it    which would be reasonably regarded as disgraceful or dishonorable by his professional brethren. what    is to say, whether the proved misconduct of the advocate is such that he must be regarded as unworthy to remain as member of the honorable profession to which he has been admitted and unfit to be entrusted with the responsible duties that an advocate is called upon to perform. [419 E; 420 B-C]

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In re: A. Solicitor Exparte the    law society [1912] 1 K.B. 302; Allinson v.    General Council of Medical Education and Registration [19841 1 Q.B. 750; Geogre , Friar Grahame v. Attorney General, Fiji AIR 1936 P.C. 224    quoted    with approval.

2.2 Charges of professional misconduct must be clearly proved and should not    be inferred from mere     ground     for suspicion, however reasonable, or what may be error of judgment or indiscretion. [420 C]

A pleader    v. The    Judges of the High Court of Madras, AIR 1930 P.C. 144; referred to.

2.3 There    is a distinction between the giving of improper legal    advice and the giving of wrong legal advice. Mere negligence     unaccompanied by any moral delinquency on the part of an     advocate in the exercise of his profession does not amount to professional misconduct. There must be proved that the advocate was guilty of moral turpitude or that there was any moral delinquency on his part. [420 D-E] In re: G. Mayor Cooke [1889] 33     Sol. Journal    397, quoted with approval.

In re: A Vakil ILR [1925] 49 Mad 523,     In re, An Advocate, ILR [1935] 62 Cal 158: In     the matter of an Advocate of Agra ILR [1940] All 386 approved. In the matter of    P an Advocate [1964] 1 S.C.R. 697 applied.

For an advocate to act towards his client otherwise than with utmost good    faith is unprofessional. When an advocate is entrusted with a brief, he is expected to follow the norms of professional ethics and    try to    protect     the interests of his client in relation to whom he occupies a position of trust. Counsel's    paramount duty     is to     the client. When a person    consults a lawyer for his advice, he relies upon his requisite experience, skill and knowledge as a lawyer, and the lawyer is expected to give proper     and dispassionate legal advice to the client for the protection of his    interests. An advocate stands    in a loco parentis towards the litigants and therefore follows that the client is entitled to receive     disinterested, sincere     and honest treatment especially    where the client approaches     the advocate for succor in     times of need. The members of the legal profession should stand free from suspicion. [121 A-C] 3.2 Nothing should be done by any member of the legal fraternity which might tend to lessen     in any     degree     the confidence of the public in    the fidelity,    honesty     and integrity of the profession. For an advocate to act towards his client otherwise than with the utmost good faith is unprofessional. It is against    professional etiquette for a lawyer to give that an advocate should accept employment with such motive, or    so long as his client has    such understanding for his purpose. It is professionally improper for a member of the Bar to prepare false documents or to draw pleadings    knowingly that    the, allegations made     are untrue to his knowledge. [421 F-H]

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On merits,     held that the evidence adduced by     the complainants falls short of the required proof although the circumstances appearing do give rise to    considerable suspicion about     the manner in which the advocates had been conducting their affairs. It was accordingly held that the Disciplinary Committee    of the Bar Council of India erred in holding the advocates guilty of professional misconduct. The proceedings drawn against them     under sub-s (1) of s 35 of the Act     were accordingly dropped with an expression of hope that they would not by their    conduct or behaviour prove themselves to be unworthy to remain as members of the legal profession.

JUDGMENT:

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : CIVIL Appeal No. 720 of 1976.

Appeal under section 38 of the Advocates Act, 1961 from the order dated the 23rd April, 1976 of the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council of India in D.C. Appeal No, 11 of 1975.

V.J. Francis for the Appellant.

V.N. Ganpule and Mrs. V.D. Khanna for the Respondent No. 1.

S. V. Tambekar for the Respondent.

The Judgment of the Court was delivered by

SEN, J. The disciplinary proceedings out of which this appeal under s. 38 of the Advocates Act, 1961 ('Act' for short) has arisen were     initiated on a complaint made by a group of 12 advocates    practising in the two courts of Sub- Divisional Magistrates in the Collectorate of Poona alleging various     acts    of professional misconduct against     the appellant P.D.     Khandekar and one    A.N. Agavane.     The proceedings stood transferred to the Bar Council of India under s. 36B of the Act. The Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council of India by its order dated April 23, 1976 held both the appellant and A.N. Agavane guilty of professional misconduct and    directed that the appellant be suspended for a period of four months from June 1, 1976 and Agavane for a period of two months therefrom. This Court by its order dated September     24, 1976 admitted the appeal and stayed the operation of the suspension of order.

First as to the facts. The Complainants alleged various acts of     professional misconduct against the appellant and Agavane. According to     them,    the appellant    and agavane sometimes impersonated    as other advocates for whom     the briefs were meant and at times they directly 417

approached the    clients     and adopted questionable methods charging exorbitant fees. The State Bar Council referred to four specific charges relating to them, two of impersonation as A.D.     Ghospurkar and     N.L. Thatte and depriving these gentlemen of the briefs meant     for them. The State     Bar Council held    that these two charges have not    been substantiated and the Disciplinary Committee    of the     Bar Council     of India has not    gone into them. Both     the Disciplinary Committee    of the    Bar Council of India and the State Bar Council however found the appellant and Agavane to be guilty of giving improper legal advice and held     the charge of professional misconduct proved, but having regard to the    fact that they were junior members of the bar, the Disciplinary Committee    has taken a lenient view and passed the sentence indicated above.    In dealing with the question of punishment to be imposed    on them, the    Disciplinary Committee observes:

"We take into consideration the    age of     the advocates the families they have to maintain,     the environments in which they practise and    the standard which is maintained in such on environment is not very high as the 'Bar Association Rules' certify toutism and provide for toutism which could be unthinkable anywhere else."

The gravamen of the charge against the appellant and Agavane relates     to the     giving of improper legal advice on two specific counts, namely: (1) On January 7, 1974     the appellant and Agavane are alleged to have got the remarriage of a couple S.B. Potdar and Smt. Leelawati Dhavale performed although their divorce was not legal. The accusation is that the appellant and Agavane induced Potdar and Smt. Dhavale to part with Rs. 100 towards their professional fee on     the faith of an assurance    that the affidavit sworn by    them before the Sub-Divisional Magistrate,    Poona to the effect that they had divorced their respective spouses and had got married at Poona on January 7, 1974 as per Hindu rites would be sufficient proof of     their marriage. (2) On February 22, 1374 the appellant and Agavane drew up an affidavit containing a recital that Smt. Sonubai Girju Valekar of Loni Bhapkar, Tehsil     Baramati, District Poona had made a gift of her lands to     her grand-daughter Smt. Mangala Ramesh Ghorpade. The charge is that she had met all the lawyers except these two and all of them advised her to give the market value of the land intended to be gifted and pay ad valorem stamp duty thereon indicating the amount of stamp duty and the registration charges payable, but these 418

two lawyers told her that she should not unnecessarily spend a large     A amount over     the stamp duty and    registration charges and they would instead have the work done within an amount of Rs. 50 which was finally settled at Rs.45. The charges levelled against the    appellant and    Agavane     are serious enough    and if    true in a case like the present, the punishment has    to be deterrent, but    the question still remains whether the charges have been proved. The appellant virtually pleads that the    case against him is    a frame-up. As to the incident of January 7, 1974, the appellant pleads that the affidavit sworn by Potdar and Smt. Dhavale was prepared on their instructions as    they represented that they had divorced their respective spouses and expressed that they wanted to marry each other on that very day and leave Poona. His case is that they represented that the priest was insisting upon an affidavit as regards their divorce    as a precaution before performing their marriage and therefore they wanted to swear an affidavit to that effect. Regarding the incident of February 22, 1974, there was a complete denial that the appellant drew up an affidavit containing a recital that Smt. Sonubai had made a gift of     her lands to her grand-daughter Smt. Mangala which he handed over to her on receipt    of Rs.     45 as     his professional fee.

The Disciplinary Committee has recorded a finding that it did    not consider that the    conduct of the appellant and Agavane amounted to cheating their clients, and that both were guilty of giving improper legal advice, but these were not cases of a     bona fide mistake of a lawyer. With respect to the    first charge, it held    that they had misled their clients Potdar    and Smt. Dhavale that the affidavit sworn by them before the Sub-Divisional Magistrate and     the certificate of    marriage issued by him would make    them legally     married according to Hindu     rites    although no marriage was ever performed. As regards the second charge, the Disciplinary Committee held them to be guilty of not giving proper legal advice to their client Smt. Sonubai. It observed that if the gift deed could not be executed because Smt. Sonubai had no sufficient funds    to bear     the cost of stamp duty and registration charges payable, the affidavit was no substitute for that as it would hardly be evidence of a gift. It further observed that it was unfortunate that the appellant an Agavane did not advise Smt. Sonubai also to execute a will contemporaneously in favour of her grand- daughter Smt. Mangala because if    the affidavit    were supplemented by     an unregistered will, nothing would be wrong.

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It proceeded upon the view that the affidavit could be taken as evidence that Smt. Sonubai had handed over possession of her property to her grand-daughter Smt. Mangala and if the latter possessed it for 12 years she would acquire title by prescription and although the    will may not be a deed of gift, it would be the nearest approach to it. In an appeal under s. 38     of the Act this Court would not, as     a general rule, interfere with the concurrent finding of fact by the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council of India and the State Bar    Council     unless     the finding is based on no evidence or it proceeds on    mere conjectures and surmises. Finding in such    disciplinary proceedings must be sustained    by a higher degree of proof than that required in civil suits, yet falling short of the proof required     to sustain a     conviction in     a criminal prosecution. There should be convincing preponderance of evidence.

It is argued that the finding    as to    professional misconduct on the part of the appellant and Agavane reached by the    Disciplinary Committee    was not     based on any legal evidence but proceeds on mere conjectures and surmises. The case against    the appellant     and Agavane    rests    upon professional misconduct     and not any    other conduct.     The question is whether there was any evidence upon which the Disciplinary Committee    could reasonably find that they have been guilty of 'professional misconduct, within the meaning of sub-s. of s. 35 of the Act. The test of what constitutes "grossly improper conduct in the discharge of professional duties" has been laid down in many cases. In the case of in re Solicitor Ex parte    the law Society, Darling, J. adopted the definition     of "infamous conduct     in a    professional respect" on the part of a medical man in Allinson v. General Council of Medical Education & Registration,     applied to professional misconduct     on the     part of a Solicitor,     and observed:

"If it is shown that a medical man, in the pursuit of his profession, has done something with regard to it which would be reasonably     regarded as disgraceful or dishonourable by his professional brethren of    good repute and     competency, then it is open to the General medical Council to say that he has been guilty of 'infamous conduct in a professional respect'." 420

The Privy Council approved of the definition in George Frier Grahame v. Attorney General, Fiji and this Court in     the matter of P. An Advocate has followed the same. The narrow question that remains for consideration now is whether the finding of the Disciplinary Committee as to professional misconduct on the part     of the     appellant can     be legally sustained. The    test to     be applied in all such cases is whether the proved misconduct    on the advocate is such that he must     be regarded as unworthy to remain a member of the honourable profession to which     he has     been admitted,     and unfit to be entrusted    with the responsible duties that an advocate is called upon to perform. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in, a Pleader v. The Judges of the High Court of Madras laid down that charges of    professional misconduct must be clearly proved and should not be inferred from mere ground for suspicion, however reasonable, or what may be error of judgment or indiscretion.

There is a world    of difference between the giving of improper legal    advice and tho giving of wrong legal advice. Mere negligence     unaccompanied by any moral delinquency on the part of a    legal practitioner in the exercise of     his profession does not amount to professional misconduct. In re A Vakil, Coutts Trotter, C.J. followed the decision in re G. Mayor Cooke and said that:

"Negligence by itself is     not    professional misconduct; into that offence there must enter     the element of     moral delinquency. Of     that there is no suggestion here, and we are therefore able to say that there is no case to investigate, and that no reflection adverse to his professional honour rests upon Mr. M.', The decision was followed by the Calcutta High Court in re An Advocate, and by the Allahabad High Court in the matter of An Advocate of Agra and by this court in the matter of P. An Advocate.

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For an advocate to act towards his client otherwise than with utmost good    faith is unprofessional. When an advocate is entrusted with a brief, he is expected to follow norms of professional ethics and try to    protect     the interests of his client in relation to whom he occupies a position of trust. Counsel's    paramount duty     is to     the client. When a person    consults a lawyer for his advice, he relies upon his requisite experience, skill and knowledge as a lawyer and the lawyer is expected to give proper     and dispassionate legal advice to the client for the protection of his    interests. An advocate stands    in a loco parentis towards the litigants and it therefore follows that     the client is entitled to receive disinterested,    sincere     and honest treatment especially where the client approaches the advocate for succour in times of need. The members of the legal profession should stand    free from suspicion. In the matter of P. An Advocate,(1) Page, C.J. in an oftquoted passage after extolling the ideals that an advocate ought to set before him, and the ancient and noble conception of his office, observed:

"From this conception of the office of an advocate it follows     that the public are entitled     to receive disinterested, sincere and honest treatment and advice from the advocates to whom they repair for counsel and succour in     their time of need; and it is for    this reason that Lord Mansfield laid down, and the Court has always insisted, that members of the legal profession "should stand free from all suspicion"."

Nothing should be done by any member of the legal fraternity which might tend to lessen     in any degree     the confidence of the public in    the fidelity,    honesty     and integrity of the profession. For an advocate to act towards his client otherwise     than with utmost good faith is unprofessional. It is against professional etiquettee for a lawyer to give that an advocate should accept employment with such motive, or    so long as his client has    such understanding of his purpose. It is professionally improper for a member of the bar to prepare false documents or to draw pleadings    knowingly that the allegations made     are untrue to his knowledge. Thus the giving of improper legal advice may amount to professional misconduct. That however may not be so by the giving of wrong legal advice. 422

It appears     to us that there was abundant evidence upon which the Disciplinary Committee could find the appellant and Agavane guilty of    giving wrong legal advice, but there is considerable     doubt whether upon such evidence the charge of professional     misconduct can be supported. In the instant case, it is not at all certain that    it can    be said with strict accuracy     that the appellant was guilty of moral turpitude or that there was any moral delinquency on his part.

As to the first charge, the Disciplinary Committee has found the appellant and Agavane to be guilty of drawing up a false affidavit     to the     effect that Potdar and Smt. Dhavale had been married at Poona on    January 7, 1974 according to Hindu rites although no such marriage     was even performed. Upon the evidence on record, it is difficult to believe that Potdar and Smt. Dhavale could be prevailed upon to swear an affidavit of the kind    unless    it was     prepared on their instructions or     that they were induced to part with Rs. 100 towards the professional fee of the appellant and Agavane on the faith of a     false assurance that the affidavit would be sufficient evidence in proof of their marriage. Potdar was an Overseer and had    put in     an advertisement inviting suitable proposals for his marriage. Smt. Dhavale held a Diploma in Education and had been working as a Teacher in a Primary School under the Zila Parishad, Satara. She had also advertised in the papers seeking suitable proposals for her marriage. Both    of them     corresponded with each other     and decided to get married     and for this purpose    they came to Poona on January 7, 1974 for    legal advice with respect to their marriage.     Incidentally, Smt. Dhavale who is a tribal woman claims to have got a divorce by custom prevalent among her tribe, whereas Potdar who was married earlier according to Hindu rites presumably got his divorce by initiating proceedings under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. They both approached the    appellant and Agavane and wanted their legal advice and stated that they would like to get married and leave Poona on the same day or, in other words, they were in a hurry to get married. Ex. C-13 which inter alia states: "We have today married at Poona as per Hindu rites" was drawn up by the appellant and Agavane and signed by both the parties before    the Sub-Divisional Magistrate     in English after reading the contents. The recital in the affidavit that they got married at Poona on January 7, 1974 according to Hindu rites must have been     made on their instructions. They were both anxious to leave Poona

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and brought a document     styled as a marriage     certificate obtained under    s. 5 of the Bombay Registration of Marriages Act, 1953 under which    even Hindu marriages    have to be registered. The document was signed by both Potdar and Smt. Dhavale and also attested by one Gangadhar Laxman Jamkhedkar who claimed to have acted as    the priest and said to have solemnised the marriage. There is nothing unprofessional for an advocate to draft an affidavit on the instructions of his client.

The testimony of Smt.     Dhavale shows     that     she accompanied by     Potdar     came to the    Court of the Sub- Divisional Magistrate on January 7, 1974 at 2.30 p.m. The purpose of their visit     is not     very clear. At first,     her version was that she told the     appellant and    Agavane that they wanted to have their marriage performed. She then added that they told these lawyers that they wanted to get their marriage registered. They both     appeared before the    Sub- Divisional Magistrate and verified the affidavit Ex. C-13 to be true     to their personal knowledge.    When confronted with the portion marked as "AA": "We have today married at Poona as per    Hindu rites", she asserted that she and Potdar had not been married according to     Hindu    rites at Poona on January 7, 1974 or at any time thereafter.    She however states that she was living with Potdar as she was under the belief that she had been married to him. The fact remains that she has also changed her surname to Smt. Potdar. It is rather improbable that a Hindu lady like Smt. Potdar would start living with a stranger as husband and wife and also adopt a     new surname unless there was a marriage. Both of them were educated persons and they     had the power to understand what they were doing and therefore they being the executants of the affidavit must be    held bound by     the recitals contained therein. The oral evidence adduced by the complainant was     not sufficient     to rebut the     presumption arising     from    the recitals    coupled     with     the other circumstances appearing.

The evidence with regard to the second charge, namely, that the appellant and     Agavane were guilty of not giving proper legal advice to Smt. Sonubai is even less convincing. It is quite possible that this old illiterate lady    aged about 90 years came to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate's Court with the purpose of executing a gift deed in favour of her grand-daughter Smt. Mangala. There is however no real or substantial evidence to connect the    appellant with     the affidavit. The     testimony of     smt. Sonubai     is wholly inconclusive as to the identity

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of the    person who prepared the affidavit. She states in her examination in-chief that she    had entrusted the work of execution of the gift    deed to     two advocates and that they represented to    her that the affidavit was a gift deed, but added that she would not be also to identify them because she had     a weak     eye-sight and    was also hard of hearing for the last 2/3 years and was not able to see or hear properly. She further unequivocally admitted that she never approached the appellant at any time for any work. It is difficult to support the charge of    professional misconduct     against the appellant on such evidence.

It must accordingly be held that the    Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council of India erred in holding the appellant and Agavane    guilty    of professional misconduct because the evidence adduced by the complainants falls short of the    required proof,     but the circumstances appearing do give rise to considerable suspicion about the manner in which they have been conducting their affairs, which defects from the norms of professional ethics.

May be, the complainants    were not actuated from a purely altruistic motive in lodging the complaint but that does not fully exonerate the appellant and Agavane of the way they have been carrying on their activities. It appears from the order of the Disciplinary Committee that some 12 to 14 advocates practising in the two    Courts    of the     Sub Divisional Magistrates    in the    Collectorate of Poona     had formed an association called the Poona Collectorate     Bar Association, the purpose of which was that the entire work in the    Collectorate should be pooled    together. To attain that object, the complainants employed servants     for collecting work     from prospective clients on a percentage of fees to     be given to them and the work to be distributed among the members. It further appears that the appellant and Agvane were two junior     lawyers who preferred not to become members of the     association, but started their practice sitting under a tree in the Court precincts. Presumably, the gentlemen of the bar who were     members of the association found that their activities a were prejudicial to their interests because they     directly got    in touch with     the clients and did the same kind     of work with    impunity by adopting similar questionable methods.     We can only express the hope that these lawyers will, in future, see to it that such improprieties as those referred to do not recur. The Disciplinary Committee speaks of the "environments" in which these lawyers work. The complainants have examined four advocates     to substantiate the    charge    against     the appellant and

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Agavane viz. A.D. Ghospurkar, N.L. Thatte, T.S. Pariyani and V.A. Mandake. The evidence of these lawyers shows that their work mainly consists in attestation of witnesses. Their appearance in cases were few and far between. They either sit in    the verandah near the    stamp-vendor in front of the Sub-Registrar's office    or in the Court compound with     the petition-writers or typists.     To illustrate this,    A.D. Ghospurkar, who is an advocate of 8 years' standing, frankly admits that his main work is to indentify parties who come to make affidavits before the Sub-Divisional Magistrates and that his work of conducting cases is negligible. During his 8 years     at the bar, he has done near about 10 to 12 chapter cases and about 8 cases in other courts. The case presents a dismal    picture     of the legal profession.    We mean no disrespect to the members of the Poona Collectorate Bar. The conditions prevalent are more    or less     the same everywhere and it    is a matter of     deep concern that nothing has been done to organize the bar.

We regret    to say    that the complainants themselves are not free from blemish. The Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council of India observes that the method adopted by the complainants to procure work by employing agents itself amounts     to professional misconduct.     It deprecates     the practice that is prevalent at the Poona Collectorate Bar and observes with regard to the complainants:

"This means that the     purpose of the Association was to appoint certain touts who     would get work for their members and then the work    will be     distributed among the    members. Touting or appointing touts is not consistent with the rules     framed under the Advocates Act and such practice would be considered professional misconduct but that is exactly what the Bar Association referred to above intend to do."

We are    informed that disciplinary proceedings     have since been initiated    against the complainants and therefore we refrain from expressing any opinion on the impropriety of their conduct.

The Preamble to Chapter II Part    VI of the Rules lays down that an advocate shall at all times comport himself in a manner befitting his     status as an officer    of the Court privileged member of the

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community and a gentleman. Rule 36 of these rules provides that an advocate shall not solicit work or advertise, either directly or     indirectly,     whether by     circulars, advertisements, touts,    personal communications etc. It is a well recognized     rule of etiquette in    the legal profession that no     attempt should     be made to advertise     oneself or solicit work directly    or indirectly.     In his 'Brief to Counsel', 5th edn., 1962, p. 94, the celebrated author Henry Cecil administered a word of caution:

"Don't go touting for work in any circumstances. There are    all sorts of ways of doing this. Don't adopt any of them. If you are going to get on, you will get on without doing that kind of thing, and if you are not going to get on, the little extra work you get will not either make you successful or counter-act the     bad impression you will make    on many     people     inside     and outside the law."

We are constrained to say that the evil of touting has been in existence since ancient times and still is a growing menance, and the bar is open    to the    accusation of having done nothing tangible to eradicate this unmitigated evil. The persons most affected by this system are     the junior lawyers     as a class. Some     lawyers may well expound unblushingly the doctrine of getting on, getting honour and at last     getting honest. If it     is generally known that a person however    honest has got on and got honour through the patronage of touts, the bar should decline to show such a man any     honour or consideration whatsoever. We impress upon the Bar     Council of India and the State Bar Councils that if they still take strong     action to eradicate this evil, it would lead to a high standard of propriety and professional rectitude which     would make it impossible for a tout to turn a penny within the precincts of the law courts. Finally, it is the solemn duty of the Bar Council of India and the State Bar Councils to frame proper schemes for the training    of the     junior     members of the bar,     for entrusting of work to them, and for their proper guidance so that eventually we have new generation of     efficiently trained lawyers. It is regrettable that even after more than two decades that the Advocates Act was brought on     the Statute Book, neither the Bar Council of India nor the State Bar Councils

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have taken any     positive steps towards ameliorating     the conditions of the members of the bar, particularly of the junior members.     Sub-ss. (3) of ss. 6 and 7    of the     Act provide that the State     Bar Councils and the Bar Council of India may constitute one or more funds in the prescribed manner for the purpose of (a) giving financial assistance to organised labour welfare schemes for the indigent, disabled or other advocates, and (b) giving legal aid or advice in accordance with     the rules made that behalf.    Sub-ss.     (3) thereof provide that they may receive any grants, donations, gifts or benefactions for the above purposes, which shall be credited to the appropriate fund or funds under that sub- section. The Bar Council of India and the State Bar Councils hold very large funds,     may be to the     tune of rupees one crore and above, but no positive steps have been taken in organizing the legal     profession and safeguarding     the interests of lawyers in general, particularly     the junior members of the bar. It is with a deep sense of anguish that one finds the legal profession in a state of total disarray and for     the majority    it is    a continuous struggle     for existence. The hardest hit are the junior members. We expect that the matter will receive the attention that it deserves. In the result, the appeal partly succeeds and is allowed. The order of the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council of India holding the appellant and A.N. Agavane guilty    of professional misconduct    is set aside.     The proceedings drawn against them under sub-s. (1) of s. 35 of the Advocates Act, 1961 are dropped. We hope and trust that they would not by    their conduct    or behaviour prove themselves to be unworthy to remain as members of the great profession to which they belong.

There shall be no order as to costs.

S.R.     Appeal partly allowed.