SC dismisses BJP leader’s plea, says MPs, MLAs can practice as advocates
A Supreme Court bench has dismissed BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay’s plea seeking a ban on MPs and MLAs practising as lawyers during their tenure as lawmakers
A Supreme Court bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices DY Chandrachud and AM Khanwilkar on Tuesday, September 25 dismissed a plea by Bharatiya Janata Party leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay contending that MPs and MLAs practising as advocates pose a conflict of interest.
Upadhyay had sought a ban, under the provisions of the Advocates Act, 1961, and the Bar Council of India Rules (BCI), on members of Parliament and legislative assemblies from practising as advocates. The bench, however, said there is no bar on lawyers, who are MPs or MLAs, from practising in court during their tenure as lawmakers. There is no rule of BCI or law that bars them from practicing in court, the bench said.
Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, P Chidambaram, KTS Tulsi, Pinaki Misra, Meenakshi Lekhi and K Parasaran are among the MPs who also practise as advocates
Upadhyay’s plea had sought a ban on legislators practising as advocates for the period that they occupy such positions, contending that the dual role would also amount to professional misconduct when MPs and MLAs, who get salary and other benefits from public funds appear against the government as lawyers.
Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, P Chidambaram, KTS Tulsi, Pinaki Misra, Meenakshi Lekhi and K Parasaran are among the parliamentarians who also practise as advocates.