Thursday, July 20, 2017

Legal consultants working on contractual basis can't be enrolled as Advocates: Gujarat HC

When contract between petitioner law graduate with a company was in nature of full time employment, such employment of petitioner was violative of requirement of rule 49 of Advocacy Act; Bar Councils had rightly refused to grant her enrolment and certificate to practice law

Facts of the case:

i. Petitioner was in her last year of L.L.B. course. During her academic period, Campus placement were started and she was selected in campus interview of Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation as Legal Consultant on contract basis. After that, she had applied for Certificate of practice.

ii. Bar council had put her enrollment form for Certificate of Practice on hold by saying that she was violating the rule of 49 of the Bar Council of India as she is rendering his full time service to the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation.

iii. Further, she contended that contractual arrangement of her service with the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation could not be viewed as employment and remuneration of Rs. 25,000/- per month paid to her was not by way of salary, as such, there was no employee-employer relationship between them.

iv. Single Judge of High Court has granted interim relief to the respondent and directed the Bar Council of Gujarat to grant her a temporary enrolment number.

v. Aggrieved by the directions of Single Judge of High Court, Bar council of Gujarat preferred appeal against the directions of Single Judge. The Gujarat High Court held as under:

a) In view of the conditions of service contract of the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation, it was observed that she was in the office from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. which are standard hours of work, prima facie it has to be considered as full-time employment. 

b) Further, there is no provision for grant of temporary certificate by the Bar Council for practicing as an advocate under the Advocates Act, 1961 and the rules framed there under.

c) She could not entitled to practice as advocate so long as she continues such employment - [2017] 83 taxmann.com 129 (Gujarat)
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