Hello Learned councils,
I am a layman and have been cheated by my advocate. I am fighting for my right since three years and today in the consumer forum the question was arised as to if Advocates come under the purview of consumer protect act. Hence need your advice and inputs. I will narrate my case below:
I had met with an accident and had engaged an advocate to fight my case against the insurance company for compernsation. The ageement (oral) was that, I would not bear the cost of proceedings of the case and at the end, the advocate would take 15 % of the awarded amount as his professional fee. I was not interested but since the advocate insisted that there was nothing to loose and I would get the money I agreed.
We won the MVC case in the lower court and the insurance company appealed before the High court of Karnataka. The Hon'ble high court gave an interrim order to dispose 60% of awarded money to the claimants. There was 1 Lakh rupees bond and 4 lakh in the form of cheque.
Before the day of collecting the judical cheque, I was invited by my advocate and he suddenly started demanding 30% as his fee. After long discussions and pushing, I finally agreed for 30%.
The next day when I went to collect the cheque, my advocate took my signatures on several papers like id proof, address proof and also managed to get my signatures on a bank account opening form as well as withdrawal form. The bank application form did not look like a Bank account opening form. There was no logo, and it was just one page. I overlooked and because of trust, I signed the papers.
After collecting the cheque, my advocate asked me to handover the cheque to him as security and said that once I give his fee the next day, he would hand over the judicial cheque to me.
The next day when I went with the cheque as his fee, he gave me 92000 Rs and said me that there was no need for me to give his fee and that he has deducted his fee from encashing the cheque himself. When confronted, he intimidated not to enquire the whereabouts of the judicial cheque.
From that day I was pleading him to give my monies back but he did not entertain. So I decided to approach Consumer forum, BAR council and also a private complaint in front of magistrate.
In the BAR council, the case was dismissed stating lack of evidence, and the same in police station.
Now, in the consumer forum, the OP is stating that this case cannot come under the juristriction on consumer protection act as professional fee for advocates do not come under the consumer protection act. Also he mentioned that even if the advocate charges 30% as his fee and even though it is against the laws of the BAR council that advocates cannot charge based on the outcome of the case, it is ok and consumer protection act cannot bring in Advocates Act for charging the fee in percentage in this forum.
The judge also needs a convincing reason that this particular case can come under the purview of consumer protection act.
Please let me know by the definition of consumer act, how can I put forth my points this case can be taken by the consumer forum. As [er my understanding, if I pay professional fee and based on the merit of the case, I loose the case, I cannot put forth a case against my advocate for loosing my case, but in this, the advocate has won thae case and the deficience lies in the way he has missapropiated the judicail cheque. And hence leads to deficiency of service from his side.
Please let me know your thoughts ont he same