Courts have supervisory & controlling power over advocates: SC

The Supreme Court of India recently held that the courts have the supervisory and controlling power over the rights of an advocate to appear for cases in the court and such power does not violate the right of the advocate under the Constitution of India.

“Conduct in court is a matter concerning the Court. But the right to appear and conduct cases in the court is a matter on which the court must and does have major supervisory and controlling power. Hence courts cannot be and are not divested of control or supervision of conduct in court merely because it may involve the right of an Advocate”, the Court said.

The Court held that Rule 3 (which prohibits a lawyer not on the roll of bar council of UP from appearing without a local lawyer) and 3A (under which a lawyer not on the rolls of the high court of UP can, without the leave of the court, appear only with a local lawyer) of the Allahabad High Court Rules, 1952 are perfectly valid, legal and do not violate the right of the advocates under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India.

The Court said that under Art 19 of the Indian Constitution, the right to appear in any court is a fundamental right and the same cannot be taken away. However, if the right to appear is merely regulated, the same would not amount to violation of fundamental right. Since Rules 3 and 3A are merely regulating the right to practice and are not prohibiting the right to practice the same are valid.

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