John Edge, Kt., C.J., Knox, Blair, Banerji, Burkitt and Aikman, JJ.
1. In this case, which is a proceeding under Section 8 of the Letters Patent of this Court consequent on the conviction by the Court of Session of Allahabad of a vakil upon the rolls of this Court of the offence punishable under Section 471 of the Indian Penal Code, which conviction was upheld on appeal to this Court, Mr. Porter has contended on the authority of In the matter of Durga Charan, Pleader I.L.R. 7 All. 290 and In re. Weare Solicitor L.R. 1893 2 Q.B.D. 439, that he was entitled to show that his client the vakil was not guilty of the offence of which he was convicted. If the observation of the Chief Justice on page 290 of the Indian Law Reports, 7 Allahabad, is to be taken as the decision of the Court on that point, we entirely dissent from it. It is to be observed that the Court, in refusing to exercise its power in that case under Section 12 of Act No. XVIII of 1879, did not suggest that the conviction was bad in fact or in law. The case in the Court of Appeal in England does not throw, in our opinion, any light on the question before us.
2. We cannot in this case question the propriety in law or in fact of the conviction of the Court of Session, which has been maintained by this Court on appeal. It is, however, incumbent on us, under Section 8 of our Letters Patent, to consider whether there exists reasonable cause for removing or suspending from practice the vakil who has been convicted, and for that purpose it is necessary for us to ascertain, as it is not admitted, the degree of culpability involved in the acts which constituted the offence of which he has been convicted.
3. We hold accordingly that Mr. Porter is not precluded from showing, if he can, that the conduct of his client in the matter was not such as to render him an unfit person to be retained on the roll of vakils of this Court.
4. The Court then went on to consider the degree of culpability indicated by the conduct of the vakil which led to the conviction above referred to, and in the end passed an order striking him off the roll of vakils of the Court.