LIBERATOR PRESS AND RANGASWAMI Vs. STATE OF MADRAS
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
LIBERATOR PRESS AND RANGASWAMI
STATE OF MADRAS
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(1.) THIS is an appeal against the judgment of Subba Rao, J. , in W. P. No. 591 of 1951 [1953 I L. L. J. 24] and the point for determination is whether advocates have a right of audience before a tribunal constituted under the Industrial Disputes Act (XIV of 1947 ). The second appellant is a company called the Liberator, Ltd. , and disputes having arisen between the management and the employees therein, the Government of Madras referred the same to the industrial tribunal, Fort St. George, Madras, the first respondent herein, for adjudication. The first appellant who is an advocate of this Court sought to appear on behalf of the second appellant before the tribunal and presented Ms vakalat. Objection was taken to his appearance by the secretary of the labour union, which is the third respondent herein, and on that, the tribunal heard all the parties concerned and passed an order on 24 September 1951 refusing permission to the first appellant to appear for the second appellant. Thereupon the appellants moved this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution for a writ of certiorari to quash the order of the tribunal on the grounds that it was an unconstitutional denial of the right of the first appellant to practise his profession and that it was further repugnant to Article 14 of the Constitution and was, therefore, void. Subba Rao, J, before whom the petition came up for hearing, disagreed with these contentions, and dismissed the same. It is against this order that the present appeal has been brought.
(2.) THE statutory provisions bearing on these questions are Sections 9 (1) and 14 (1), (a), (b) and (c) of the Indian Bar Councils Act (XXXVIII of 1926) and Section 36 (4) of the Industrial Disputes Act (XIV of 1947) as amended by the Industrial Disputes (Appellate Tribunal) Act (XLVIII of 1950 ). Section 9 (1) of the Indian Bar Councils Act is as follows: The Bar Council may. with the previous sanction of the High Court, make rules to regulate the admission of persons to be advocates of the High Court; provided that High Court refuse admission to any person in its discretion Section 14 (1) An advocate shall be entitled as of right to practise (a) subject to the provisions of Sub-section (4) of Section 9 in the High Court of which he is an advocate, (b) save as otherwise provided by Sub-section (2) or by or under any other law for the time being in force, in any other court in the union of India and before any other tribunal or person legally authorized to take evidence, and (c) before any other authority or parson before whom such advocate is by or under the law for the time being in force entitled to practise. Section 36 (4) of Industrial Disputes (Appellate Tribunal) Act reads as follows: In any proceedings before the tribunal, a party to a dispute may be represented by a legal practitioner with the consent of the other parties to the proceedings and with the leave of the tribunal. On these provisions it was held by Subba Rao, J,, that the right of an advocate to appear before a tribunal was, under Section 14 (b) of the Bar Councils Act subject to any law for the time being in force, that Section 36 (4) of the Industrial Disputes Act was such a law and that the order of the tribunal, dated 24 September 1951, refusing permission to the first appellant in terms of that section was not open to attack.
(3.) IT Is contended by Mr. D. Narasa Raju, learned advocate for the appellants, that it is the fundamental right of every advocate under Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution to practise before all courts and tribunals exercising judicial functions and that; unless the restrictions imposed on that right could be brought under Article 19 (6) they would not be valid. It is argued that while the rules prescribing qualifications for enrolment as an advocate under Section 9 of the Bar Council Act could be upheld under Article 19 (6), the restriction imposed by Section 14 (1) (b) could not be held to be saved by that provision as it is absolute and goes far beyond the requirements. This contention renders it necessary to examine the nature of the right which counsel has to practise before courts and tribunals.;
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