Delhi High Court: A single judge bench of Anish Dayal, J has held that a law student shall not represent a party or provide legal counsel in any legal proceeding before a court of law before being properly enrolled by a bar council and being admitted to the bar.
On 20.08.2022, a first-year law student appeared before the Metropolitan Magistrate, Dwarka Courts, Delhi to request adjournments in two cases after receiving instructions from one Advocate Chandni. When the MM questioned her about the case, she remained mute because she had simply been told to appear before the Court and seek dates and was uninformed of the case. The MM took her into court custody and eventually an FIR was filed against her under IPC Section 177 (Furnishing False Information), Section 179 (Refusing to Answer Public Servant Authorized to Question), Section 419 (cheating by personation) and Section 209 (dishonestly filing a false claim in court), for appearing as a proxy lawyer before the Court.
The Honorary Secretary of the Dwarka Bar Association then filed a FIR on 08.09.2022 against the law student in the matter.
The High Court, however, observed that the matter was exaggerated unduly before the MM, especially considering that the law student had fairly disclosed that she was a first-year law student and the same was seconded by Advocate Chandni.
Taking note of the record of the proceedings before the MM on that date, the High Court observed that the law student appeared to be either confused or unable to handle the scenario that was put before her.
She had also submitted the following undertaking:
“I am accepting my mistake and regretting my appearance before learned Court and this undertaking may also be treated as my unconditional apology to BCI, BCD, and all Court Associations. I shall never appear before any Court as proxy, counsel, or an advocate until I have obtained enrolment with Bar Council.”
The High Court, hence, observed that it was pointless to continue the proceedings and pursue the matter further as ordered by the MM. The Court, hence, quashed the FIR against the law student.
[Shweta v. GNCTD, CRL.M.C. 6497/2022, decided on 05-12-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Sachin Bandoori, Advocate, for the Petitioner;
Raj Kumar, APP and SI Jyoti, PS, for the Respondent.