Gujarat HC dismisses the plea of practicing CA to enroll as Advocate

Gujarat High Court dismissed the petition of Mr. Mam Raj Goel for enrolling as Advocate with Bar Council of Gujarat.

The petitioner submitted that he should not be barred from the enrollment as he was not a salaried employee. He further contended that “ practicing as a Chartered Accountant is nothing but a law practice relating to commercial branch i.e. Income Tax Act, Companies Act, Partnership Act etc. or Debt Recovery Tribunal.”

The respondent relied on the judgment of the High Court of Gujarat the reported in 2001 (3) GLR 2124 that “the person, who is practicing in the medical profession, cannot practice law.”

“…the person as a member of a profession has to discharge his obligation and, therefore, the profession as an Advocate or Lawyer which is a full time, one cannot be permitted if he is already working as a profession like Chartered Accountant. The nature of work may have some kind of overlapping or connection but it is not the nature of work but it is the nature of the profession, which is relevant,” Justice Rajesh H. Shukla observed.

The court noted that “the moot question is whether he can be allowed to have an enrollment as an Advocate for practicing in the profession of Advocate.”

“The Bar Council of Gujarat has made the Rules in exercise of power under Section 28 read with Section 24 of the Advocates Act. Rule 2 of the Bar Council of Gujarat provides “Every person applying to be admitted as an Advocate shall in his application make a declaration that he is not in full or part time services or employment and that he is not engaged in any trade, business or profession contrary to the rules” said the bench.

And the Gujarat High Court upheld the denial of enrollment to a practicing Chartered Accountant as an Advocate and dismissed the petition.

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