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Advocates who voluntarily suspend legal practice for government employment not members of Bar: Kerala High Court

The Court found that any person who legally suspends their practice will cease to have the right to practise as an advocate in terms of Sections 30 and 33 of the Advocates Act, so long as the said person is in employment.

Moreover, from the cumulative and combined effect of Rules 49 and 5(1) of the Bar Council Rules, upon voluntarily suspending the practice, the person concerned will have to surrender the original certificate of enrolment to the State Bar Council.

It was further found that as per Rule 6 under Chapter III of Part VI of the BCI Rules, an advocate who is under suspension shall be under the same disability during the period of such suspension as an advocate whose name has been removed from the roll, and that Rule 6(2) does not make any distinction as between voluntary suspension and penal suspension.

In this context, the Court also held that such a person who has suspended their legal practice cannot be called a “member of the Bar”.

“…in order to describe a person as being a member of the Bar, he/she should be a member of the legal profession, who earns a livelihood through the profession of legal practice carried on the courts, Tribunals, etc,” the judgment stated.

While dismissing the petition, the Court held,

“So long as a person like the applicant does not have the legal right to practise as an Advocate in terms of Secs.30 and 33 of the Act, in view of the abovesaid aspects and the consequences flowing from the Act and the Rules, it cannot be said that such a person should be a member of the Bar…”

Source: Barandbench

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