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Tribunal Justified In Imposing Costs Where Advocate Acted As De Facto Party: T C Gupta Vs Union Of India

Vrinda ,
  01 April 2022       Share Bookmark

Court :
Rajasthan High Court
Brief :

Citation :
REFERENCE: D.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 10645/2019

JUDGEMENT SUMMARY:
T.C. Gupta v. Union of India

DATE OF JUDGEMENT:
24 March 2022

JUDGES:
Justice Sandeep Mehta and Justice Vinod Kumar Bharwani

PARTIES:
T.C. Gupta (Petitioner)
1. Union of India
2. Chief Commissioner of Income Tax
3. Hina P. Shah (Respondent)

SUBJECT

This case is regarding Original Applications and writ petitions personally signed by the petitioner advocate.

AN OVERVIEW

The petitioner, T.C. Gupta, an Advocate enrolled with the Bar Council of Rajasthan, had filed this writ petition to challenge the Central Administrative Tribunal, Jodhpur Bench's order dated 03.01.2019 dismissing the Original Applications filed by an association in the name and style of Income-Tax Contingent Employee's Union represented by the petitioner. The petitioner was fined Rs. 1,00,000/- and the case was submitted to the Rajasthan Bar Council for further action.

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS

  • Article 226 of the Constitution of India provides that a person can move to the High Courts to file a writ petition when there is a violation of his/her fundamental rights. It should be noted that the authority against whom the writ petition is filed has to be present within the territory of India, otherwise, the petition has no value.

ISSUES

  • Whether pleadings and other documents personally signed by petitioner-advocate without being specifically authorised by the litigants can be justified.

ANALYSIS OF THE JUDGEMENT

  1. The petitioner argued forcefully and fervently that the contested decree was illegal. The petitioner submitted the original applications in good faith after being hired as a lawyer by the Union and its Member Shri Mahendra Singh to advocate for the casual workers before the Income Tax Department. The Tribunal dismissed the Original Applications with a slap on the wrist. The impugned order's observations and findings that the petitioner was not authorised to represent the Union or that he had filed a counterfeit resolution in support of the Original Applications are completely unfounded. The learned Tribunal's order imposing a cost of Rs.1,00,000/- on the petitioner was harsh, arbitrary, and capricious and therefore, should've been quashed and set aside.
  2. Shri Sunil Bhandari, the advocate for the Income Tax Department, backed the learned Tribunal's decision, arguing that this Court has already determined that Shri T.C. Gupta has not been authorised to file cases on behalf of the so-called Income Tax Contingent Employees Union in multiple cases. Shri T.C. Gupta filed the Original Applications before the Tribunal without proper authorization. He also claimed that, although not being a party, he had signed and affirmed the pleadings before the Tribunal, and that, as a result, the learned Tribunal's remark that the lawyer himself de facto became a party is supported by the admitted factual position. As a result, he pleaded with the Court to dismiss the petition.
  3. In Income Tax Contingent Employees Union vs Union of India and ors, the Rajasthan HC held that a writ petition filed in representative capacity without authorisation or a resolution to that effect is not maintainable.
  4. The Rajasthan High Court's division bench in Jodhpur upheld the verdict of the Central Administrative Tribunal in Jodhpur imposing a cost of one lakh on the petitioner-advocate. The court noted that the petitioner-advocate has filed Original Applications in the Tribunal as well as writ petitions in the High Court in many situations, and has personally signed the pleadings and other documents without being specifically authorised in this respect by the plaintiffs.

CONCLUSION

The Division Bench of the Rajasthan High Court at Jodhpur in this notable judgement, correctly observed that the petitioner-advocate has filed Original Applications in the Tribunal as well as writ petitions in the High Court and has personally signed the pleadings and other documents without being specifically authorised by the litigants, which cannot be justified.

Click here to download the original copy of the judgement

 
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