The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea seeking a ban on members of Parliament and legislative assemblies from practising as advocates.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar dismissed the plea saying there is no bar on lawyers, who are members of Parliament or an assembly, from practising in court during their tenure as lawmakers.
There is no rule of Bar Council of India (BCI) or law that bars them from practicing in court, the bench said.
The court’s verdict came on a plea filed by advocate and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay contending that MPs/MLAs practising as advocates pose a conflict of interest under the provisions of the Advocates Act, 1961, and the Bar Council of India Rules.
The 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, K.T.S. Tulsi, Pinaki Misra, Meenakshi Lekhi, and K. Parasaran are among the parliamentarians who also practise as advocates.