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  • The Hon’ble SC has once again reiterated in Employees State Insurance Corporation vs. Union of India that both the client and the Court are not bound by a lawyer’s admission as to matters of law or legal conclusions.
  • In the instant case, the respondents in the current matter had joined as Assistant Professors in the ESIC Model Hospital, Rajajinagar, Bengaluru between 2012 and 2014. A scheme was issued by the Central Government in 2008 which contemplated that an Assistant Professor who had completed two years of service would be eligible for being appointed as an Associate Professor.
  • Thus, the respondents applied to CAT, Bengaluru seeking the promotion but they were denied the same on the grounds that the ESIC regulations were not applicable to the same and the promotion is to be considered under DACP scheme. The respondents filed a writ petition before the HC challenging the order of CAT. The HC dismissed the same stating that ESIC Regulations 2015 came into force after the respondents were recruited and that they were not eligible for the same.
  • In the present appeal before the SC, the respondents contended that the appellants were estopped from urging that the DACP Scheme is not applicable to the teaching cadre at the ESIC since they have admitted the same before the CAT and in the writ petitions before the HC.
  • The Apex Court relied upon the judgement of the Division Bench of the Supreme Court in Himalayan Coop. Group Housing Society vs. Balwant Singh (2015)SCC where the Court clarified the law of agency as it applies to lawyer-client relationship. The Court stated that while admissions of fact generally made by a lawyer are binding, the Court or the client is not bound by the admissions as to matters of law. The Court, in this case, had also held that a lawyer generally had no implied authority to make an admission or statement which would result in the surrender of the rights of his client, unless of course, that was what he was hired to do.
  • The Court also observed that there can be no estoppel against a statute or a Regulation which has a statutory effect.
  • Thus, the Court concluded that the admission of the counsel for the appellant before CAT does not preclude the findings that will be arrived at by the Supreme Court.
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