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Case Commentary: Hikmath Ali Khan v/s Ishwar Prasad Arya

Hikmat Ali Khan V Ishwar Arya Prasad

  • The respondent Ishwar Prasad has been a lawyer in Badaun. In this case he attacked his adversary Radhey Shyam in Munsiff's Court Room with a knife during lunch time. A gun shot at the time of the incidence was reported to have been fired. He was tried for crimes under the IPC in accordance with Section 307 after investigation and Arms Act, Section 25.
  • He was convicted for 3 years rigorous imprisonment. Thereafter using a forged letter of the governor asking the court to suspend his sentence under Art.161 of the constitution he got his conviction suspended and he was released. Later the sessions Judge found the letter as forged one and he lodged a complaint with the Bar Council of U.P for necessary action against him.
  • Subsequently by taking into account of the bad conduct of the Advocate, he was debarred from the practice for a period of 3 years by the State Bar Council. On appeal this order was set aside. Hikmath Ali Khan preferred an appeal before Supreme Court against this order.
Citation: Air 1997 Sc 864
Decided on: January 28, 1997
Bench: Justice SC Agarwal & Sujata. V. Manohar
Appellant: Hikmath Ali Khan
Respondent: Ishwar Prasad Arya

Issues
  1. Whether Mr. Ishwar Prasad is guilty of professional misconduct under Section 35 of Advocates act, 1961?
  2. Whether a person who is convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude can be disqualified for being admitted as an advocate on the State Rolls of Advocate under Section 24 of the Advocates Act, 1961?

Judgement
  • The Supreme Court held that the acts of misconduct found established were serious in nature and outlined the options available to the Bar Council under Sub- section (3) of Section 35 of the Act. The punishment of removal of the name from the roll of advocates is called for where the misconduct is such as to show that advocate is unworthy of remaining in the profession.
  • The Supreme Court turned its attention to Section 24A of the Act as a person who is convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude is disqualified for being admitted as an advocate on the State roll of advocates. Thus, Supreme Court held that the gravity of misconduct committed by Ishwar Prasad Arya is so serious and ordered removal of his name from the rolls of Advocates.
Reasoning
  • The punishment of removal of the name from roll of advocates is when the lawyer's misconduct is such to show that the advocate is unworthy of remaining in the profession. The Supreme Court in the above case has referred to Section 24 of the Act which deals with disqualification from the enrolment. The court also pointed out that under the same section a person who is convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude is disqualified for being admitted as an advocate on the State roll of advocates.
  • It should also be noted that the conduct of offence involving moral turpitude by a person enrolled as an advocate would punish him only by removing his name from the rolls of advocate. The appellants appeal thus being justified.

Separate Opinion
  • I support this judgement, as it is said that advocacy is a noble profession, which is the most accountable, privileged, and respected in the society and any member practising this profession should not encourage deceitfulness or corruption, but mut strive to achieve justice to their clients. The credibility and reputation of an advocate depends upon the way he shows his conduct himself. They symbolize a healthy relationship between the bar and the bench.
     
  • Thus, any lawyer guilty of gross professional misconduct is a bolt to the image of other good lawyers and should be punished by making the person unworthy of that position. Hence, the statement made by Supreme Court in favour of appellant is justified.
Analysis
  • The role of lawyers in the society is of great importance. They being a crucial part of the system of delivering justice, hold great reverence and respect in the society. Each individual had a well- defined code of conduct which needs to be followed by the person living in the society. A lawyer, in discharging his professional assignment has a duty to his client, a duty to his opponent, a duty to the court, and to the society at large and a duty to himself.
     
  • In this case, the acts of misconduct performed by Ishwar Prasad, were serious in nature and he should be disqualified for being admitted as an advocate on the State Rolls of Advocate, because advocacy is a noble profession, and it should not be degraded by the professional misconduct and unethical practices.

    Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Juny Varghese
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    Authentication No: OT127982336244-06-1021

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