Kerala High Court: Shircy V., J., dismissed the bail application of one Sessy Xavier, the infamous fake lawyer. The Bench stated,
“The illegal activities adopted by her that too before the court of law has to be dealt with an iron hand. If leniency is taken, just considering the fact that she is a young lady, it will be a shame for the whole Judicial system and would shake the confidence of the public in judicial system.”
The allegation against the petitioner was that the petitioner, who was not a law graduate, had fraudulently approached the Bar Association, Alappuzha with someone else’s enrolment number and secured membership. She had also submitted applications before the civil courts and thus her name was also included in the panel of Commissioners and was appointed as Commissioner in so many cases. She was also said to have appeared before the Sessions courts for the accused as State brief. Shockingly, she had contested the election of the Bar Association and was elected as an office bearer of the Association.
Thus, apprehending arrest in the case registered against her under Sections 417, 419 and 420 of the IPC, the petitioner had approached the Court seeking anticipatory bail. The definite case of the petitioner was that she never appeared as an Advocate or attended the courts as an Advocate wearing the uniform prescribed for a lawyer. But she joined only as a law intern in the office of an Advocate at Alappuzha.
Eligibility of an Advocate
Section 24 (1) (c) of the Advocates Act, 1961 says that a person who has obtained a degree in law is qualified to be admitted as an Advocate, if he fulfills the conditions narrated therein. Therefore, only a person holding a Law Degree is entitled to get his name enroled in the roll as an Advocate and only after enrolment as an Advocate, one could practise the profession of law as an Advocate as reflected in the Act. Admittedly, this petitioner was not holding a degree in law and so she never enrolled as an Advocate before the Bar Council of Kerala. Rejecting the argument of the petitioner she had only joined the office of a Senior Advocate as law intern, the Bench stated the same appeared to be a false statement as revealed from the records.
Opinion and Analysis
Noticeably, the petitioner never completed her course in LL.B, though she was a student at Law Academy Law College at Thiruvananthapuram for a short period but clandestinely produced the enrolment number of another Advocate and the said number was exhibited by her as her roll number in all her activities as an Advocate before the courts. Hence, prima facie, the petitioner had not only cheated the Bar Association, the District judiciary, the general public, but also the entire judicial system.
“Doubtless that the gravity of the offences alleged against her is grave and serious in nature…The allegations levelled against her are highly serious and sensitive having grave repercussions in the society.”
The held that the Advocates’ first responsibility is towards their clients and then to the courts. So, misrepresenting or presenting as an Advocate before a client and obtaining his/her brief as if she is an Advocate, itself would amount to cheating towards the public. Noticing that she had also functioned as the librarian of the Bar Association and she was in charge of the records of the association, the Bench directed the Bar Associations to cross check and verify with the Bar council before admitting a new member, so that such incidents could be prevented in future. The Bench stated,
“If leniency is taken, just considering the fact that she is a young lady, it will be a shame for the whole judicial system and would shake the confidence of the public in judicial system.”
Since, application submitted by her for admission before the association was also found missing from the records along with some other applications submitted the investigating agency was directed to go deep into the matters so as to ascertain what were the offences committed by the petitioner apart from the offences she had been booked by the prosecution.
Hence, holding that to probe into those details, definitely custodial interrogation of the petitioner was essential and inevitable, her bail application was dismissed. [Sessy Xavier v. State of Kerala, Bail Appl. No. 5868 of 2021, decided on 17-09-2021]
Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.
For the Petitioner: By Adv Roy Chacko
For the State of Kerala: Adv. P.K. Vijayakumar, Sr. Pp Smt. Sreeja V
For Addl. Respondent 3: Adv. B Pramod