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Lawyers are not Permitted to Earn A Livelihood by any other means-SC on Suo Moto Proceeding. Notice Issued to Bar Associations.

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By Rupali Gupta-

In a suo moto proceeding Supreme Court today shows concern about the lawyers facing financial difficulties due to global pandemic COVID-19 and most of these lawyers are at a loss of work. Bench comprised of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and justice. V Ramasubramanian on Wednesday, SC again stated that lawyers can’t exercise any other Profession and they are strictly restricted to earn a livelihood ‘by any other means’. The bench observed-“We are conscious of the fact that the advocates are bound by rules which restrict their income only to the profession. They are not permitted to earn a livelihood by any other means”. In explaining we can see chapter VII of the bar council of India rules, where rule 47 to 52imposes restriction on advocates taking up other employment. Recently in Shiv kumar pankha  and Anr V. Allahabad HC and anr.   Bar council of Gujarat allows advocates to do any alternative jobs or business for meeting their basic needs due to lockdown until end of the December 2020.  This resolution is still pending for the approval from the bar council of India and yet to come into force

SC also issued notice to the recognized Bar Associations of the Supreme Court and of all the High Courts to show cause why a fund for relief to eligible and deserving advocates should not be set up and donations for the same be invited from their own members or any other legitimate source. It would also be necessary to determine the norms for eligibility of such financial aid by the Bar Associations.

SC also issued notice to the Union of India, State Governments/Union Territories, Bar Council of India and all the State Bar Councils. Notice be returnable in two weeks.

Mr. Tushar Mehta, learned Solicitor General and Mr. Manan Kumar Mishra, senior counsel recived notice on behalf of the Union of India and the Bar Council of India.

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