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Advocate's Duty Towards Court

Professional ethics is nothing but the duties which are to be followed by the advocate. An advocate who violates these duties is considered as he has violated the principles of professional ethics. The core subject of legal ethics is to maintain honour, dignity of the law profession and to create a friendly atmosphere in the court without any biasness and quarrels between advocates which eventually spoils the bar and bench relations and ultimately affects the administrative system of justice.

Cooperation and fair dealing is necessary for the advocates. Advocacy is a noble profession. It cannot be compared with any other profession like trade, business etc. because it is a part and parcel of judiciary and administration of justice. Bar and bench are two eyes of the Justice. There are judicial ethics and etiquette for judges.

There are professional ethics and etiquette for advocates. Every advocate should follow them in his profession. An advocate is also a key person in conducting a proceeding before the court. While conducting a proceeding the advocate should function intelligently. Every advocate must follow these duties because they are part and parcel of the professional ethics and etiquette. Whoever fails to oblige them, such an advocate is said to have committed professional misconduct and be punished accordingly[1].

Advocate's Duty To The Court:

An advocate is considered as an officer of the court, honoured member of the community, and a gentleman, thinking that to become a member of the bar he has to be lawful and moral not only in his professional capacity but also in his non – professional capacity. An advocate has to courageously support the interest of his client and also have to follow the principles of ethics and etiquette both in correspondence.

The bar council of India rules, State Bar Council rules mention certain canons of conduct and etiquette as general guides. Section 49(1)(c) of the Advocates Act, 1961 empowers the bar council of India to make rules in order to determine the standards of professional conduct and etiquette to be observed by the advocates. Chapter – II of Part – VI OF The Bar Council of India Rules explaining the rules pertaining to Advocate's Duty to the Court.

Following are the duties of advocate towards to court[2]:

  1. An advocate while presenting his case should conduct himself with dignity and self respect
  2. Respectful attitude must be maintained by the advocate. He has to keep in mind the dignity of the judge.
  3. An advocate should not, by any improper means should influence the decision given by the court.
  4. An advocate can make a complaint against the judicial officer but it has to be before proper authorities and there has to be serious offence done by the judicial officer.
  5. It is the duty of the advocate to prevent his client from resorting to unfair practices and also the advocate himself should not do any of such acts.
  6. Dress code has to be maintained by the advocate while appearing before the court.
  7. An advocate should not take up any case of his family members and relatives.
  8. No bands or gowns had to be worn by the advocate in the public places. It is only limited to the court premises.
  9. An advocate cannot be as a surety for his client. An advocate shall not act or plead in any matter in which he has some kind of pecuniary interest.
  10. It is the duty of the advocate to cooperate with the bench in the court.
  11. It is the duty of the advocate to perform his functions in such a manner that due to his acts the honor, dignity and integrity of the courts shall not be affected.
  12. An advocate should not laugh or speak loudly in the court room especially when the proceedings are going on.
  13. When an advocate accepts a brief, he should attend all adjournments properly. If he has any other work in another court, he should first obtain the permission from the court concerned. Particularly in criminal cases, it is the first and foremost duty of an advocate to attend.
  14. While the case is going on, the advocate cannot leave the court without court's permission and without putting another man in charge, preferably his colleague or junior or friend advocate.

The Bar Council can review the order given by the disciplinary committee under Section 44 of the Advocate's Act, 1961. V.C. Rangadurai v/s D. Gopalan, In this case V. C. Rangadurai was an advocate and Devasenapathy was an old deaf man, aged 70 years and Smt. D. Kamalammal was also aged.

They had given two promissory notes to rangadurai and also paid the fees as was asked to the advocate. Nevertheless, the advocate did not file the case in time. The limitation was over. After a long time of wandering around the office of the advocate, the old man came to know that the advocate deceived him by not filing the cases within the time even after receiving the fees. He filed a complaint before disciplinary committee of the Tamilnadu state bar council which after enquiry punished the advocate suspending him for 6 years[3].

On appeal, it was confirmed by the Bar council of India and also by Supreme Court. Rule 6 of Chapter II of Part- VI of the Bar Council Rules states that an advocate shall not appear, act, plead or practice before the court if any member is related to the advocate as father, son, wife etc. the main object is to avoid personal bias between an advocate and presiding officer related to such advocate.

Due to natural love and affection, the judge may incline towards the advocate, thus to favour the client of the advocate related to him or her. In case of Satyendra Nararain Singh and Others vs Ram Nath Singh and Others[4], wife is the judge and husband is the advocate.

Court held that the advocate should not appear before his wife, who is the judge of the court. If he appears before the court, to which his wife is presiding officer, it becomes his professional misconduct. If he appears before the wife- judge. It is the duty of the judge to raise the objection. If she fails to object and accepts his appearance, then it becomes her judicial misconduct[5].

UP Sales Tax Service Association vs Taxation Bar Association[6], In this case, an advocate was carrying a revolver along with him to the court. So, it was held by the Supreme Court that if an advocate attends the court with firearms then it definitely against the dignity of the legal profession[7].

Advocate has duties which are to be performed towards himself, his clients, opponents, colleagues, court etc. it is the duty of the advocate to maintain the decorum of the court and act properly with his opponents or colleagues. He must always act in the best interests of his clients and should not do any kind of act that betrays their trust upon him.

An advocate has to present his case before the court fearlessly. He must maintain the dignity of the legal profession as well as the dignity of the court. He is considered as an officer of the court and required to uphold the dignity and decorum of the court.

These rules prohibit private communication with the judge relating to a pending case. Not only the litigants and witnesses but the general public will also get the inspirations from the example of advocates. It is necessary for dignified and honourable administration of justice that the court should be regarded with respect by the suitors and people. All these duties, ethics and morals help an advocate to be in a better position in his career and become a successful lawyer.

  1. Legal Ethics ( Accountability for lawyers and Bench – Bar Relations) – Dr. Kailash Rai
  2. Legal Ethics ( Accountability for lawyers and Bench – Bar Relations) – Dr. Kailash Rai
  3. Lectures on Professional Ethics and Accountancy for lawyers and Bench – Bar Rekations – Dr. Rega Surya Rao
  4. AIR 1984 SC 1755
  5. Lectures on Professional Ethics and Accountancy for lawyers and Bench – Bar Rekations – Dr. Rega Surya Rao
  6. AIR 1996 SC 98
  7. Legal Ethics ( Accountability for lawyers and Bench – Bar Relations) – Dr. Kailash Rai

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