P P SELVARAJAN ADVOCATE Vs. BAR COUNCIL MADRAS
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
P.P. SELVARAJAN (ADVOCATE)
BAR COUNCIL, MADRAS, REPRESENTED BY ITS SECRETARY, MR. A.N.
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Rajamannar, C.J. -
(1.) This is an appeal against the judgment of Subba Rao J. dismissing the appellant's application filed under Article 226 of the Constitution for a writ of certiorari or any other appropriate writ to call for the records and quash the order dated 16-4-52 of the Bar Council, Madras, and such other order or give such other directions as this Court deems fit to the Bar Council and enter the appellant's name in the register of practising advocates. The appellant is an advocate of this Court, having been enrolled as such on 20th September 1937. He continued to practise till April 1944 when he intimated to the Bar Council that he was suspending his practice, because his maternal uncle died in January 1942 leaving no male issue & a running business in fancy goods & it became necessary for him to devote his whole time to the business. Subsequently the appellant found that the income from the business was insufficient for the needs of his family and he applied to the Bar Council on 29th July 1949 requesting their permission to practise as an advocate and at the same time to look after his business interests. He stated that his businesses were functioning without his actual presence and that it would not cause any prejudice to his duties as a lawyer if he had only a supervisory control over his business. The Bar Council refused to grant him permission by their letter dated 19th August 1950. As the income from the business diminished still further the appellant completely divested himself of all personal contact with the business, gave a general powerof- attorney to his manager and entrusted the conduct of another business to an active partner and renewed his application to the Bar Council on 12th March 1952. The Bar Council however refused the request by their letter dated 16th April 1952. It is this order that has given rise to this application for 'certiorari'.
(2.) The application by the appellant to the Bar Council was made under rule 28 of the Madras Bar Council Rules which runs as follows:
"No advocate shall be a promoter of a trading company, nor shall he without the leave of the Bar Council otherwise engage in any trade or calling." In the affidavit filed by him in support of his application he attacked the order of the Bar Council as being arbitrary. He submitted that the arbitrary discretion vested in the Bar Council under rule 28 was void and inoperative after the coming into force of the Constitution, because it would be contrary to the rule of equal protection of laws laid down in Article 14 and also because it would be contrary to the provisions of Article 19(1)(g) which guaranteed to the citizens freedom to practise any profession.
(3.) Subba Rao J. after an elaborate discussion of the case-law and the principles laid down in the American decisions and in this country, came to the conclusion that rule 28 did not infringe on the fundamental rights embodied in Article 14 and Article 19 of the Constitution. He also held that the order of the Bar Council was not passed arbitrarily. He therefore dismissed the application.;
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