MPs and MLAs can practice law, Apex court has no problem

New Delhi, Sep 25, News24 Bureau: A Bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra said that Bar Council of India does not stop legislators from practicing law. Supreme Court has declined to debar lawmakers from practicing as lawyers. SC says Bar Council of India does not put any restrictions on them. SC further says MPs / MLAs are not full-time salaried employees  

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices D Y Chandrachud  and A M Khanwilkar had on July 9 reserved the order on the PIL filed by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhyay seeking to bar lawyer-lawmakers (MPs, MLAs, MLCs) from practising in courts during their tenure in the legislature.The bench had earlier taken note of the Centre's submission that an MP or an MLA is an elected representative and not a full-time employee of the government, hence the plea was not maintainable.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhyay seeking to bar lawyer-lawmakers (MPs, MLAs, MLCs) from practising in courts during their tenure in the legislature. The PIL also said that while a public servant cannot practice as an advocate, legislators are practising in various courts which was a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.However, senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Upadhyay, had told the court that a lawmaker draws a salary from the public exchequer and a salaried employee is debarred by the Bar Council of India from practising in the courts of law.To this, the bench had replied that employment postulates a master-servant relationship and the government of India is not the master of a Member of Parliament.The plea said the issue is a matter of concern to both the judiciary and the legislature as most of the lawmaker-advocates are involved in the active practice of law, despite receiving salaries and other perquisites drawn on the public exchequer.With Agencies