18 September 2014
I am writing to you in desperation to absolve me of the dilemma I am into i.e. whether to apply for enrollment as an advocate or not. Please Let me bring the factual picture about the situation which has resulted in the dilemma as aforesaid. I was employed with NTPC Ltd, a Public Sector Undertaking w.e.f. the year 2002 to 02.06.2014 as Jr. Assistant (HR). With effect from 03.06.2014, subsequent to my completing the LLB, three years course from Law Centre-II, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, I was transferred to Corporate Legal Department of NTPC and re-designated as Assistant(Law). On being re-designated as Assistant (Law), I went to the Delhi Bar Council office to obtain necessary information and the application form for enrollment. The staff there informed me that since I am in full time employment, my application is liable to be rejected and the fees will be forfeited. On returning back, I referred to the rules given on the Bar council of Delhi’s website and downloaded a copy thereof. In those rules under Chapter VIII, I happened to find proviso to Rule 103 (vii) which states that bar of Rule no. 103 shall not apply to “ Any person who is a Law Officer of Central Govt. or Govt. of the State or any Public Corporation or body constituted by Statute. For the purpose of this clause a “Law Officer” shall mean a person who is so designated by the terms of his appointment and who by the said terms is required to act or plead in Court on behalf of his employer. On further research, I happened to find that the aforesaid exception was removed by Bar Council of India’s resolution in 2001. But, the Apex Court in recent judgment “Deepak Aggarwal Vs Keshav Kaushik” , (2013) 5 SCC 277 said that the position of law is unaltered despite the said resolution . Given this situation, I beg your reply to the following questions: 1) Should I apply for enrollment and would my application be accepted? 2) In case my application gets rejected, would the fees deposited be refunded as I was told by the Staff there that the fees shall not be refunded in any case. 3) Do I need to attach “No Objection Certificate” from my Employer with the application for enrollment?
I wish to get enrolled as it is a pre-requisite by several recruiting bodies that a LLB graduate should be enrolled with the respective BAR council as an advocate. If I not be enrolled then I shall not be eligible even to apply for the post which require enrollment as a pre-condition and I shall be stuck in this position forever.
In view of the above, I respectfully pray you to please help me in this regard and oblige.
19 September 2014
Shroff Sir, with all due respect, the judgment which I quoted above allowed the Govt. advocates i.e. the advocates under the employment of the Govt. to be recognized as advocates provided they are liable to represent their employer. I shall be glad if you could please shed some light on the judgment I quoted above.
27 September 2014
Expert Mr. Arunagiri has rightly interpreted the meaning. The citation or ruling you have quoted itself is very clear about this; "a “Law Officer” shall mean a person who is so designated by the terms of his appointment and who by the said terms is required to act or plead in Court" -from this it is clear that he is appointed as a retainer and not as a regular employee on the pay rolls of the company. However, you may apply for enrollment and wait for their decision.