1. This advocate enrolled in this Court has been recently appointed Honorary Director of Backward Classes Welfare. A nominal salary of Re. 1/- p.m. has been fixed to make him a public servant for the purposes of the rules governing expenditure of public money. He has informed this Court of the appointment and has prayed that he may be allowed to continue his practice. The rule applicable hero is Rule 6, Clause (2):
Any person who having been admitted as a, legal practitioner shall accept any appointment or shall enter into any trade or other business shall give notice thereof to the Judicial Commissioner's Court, which may thereupon suspend such legal practitioner from practice or pass such orders as the said Court may think fit. If such legal practitioner practises in the District Court, he shall give the notice through the District Judge.
In deciding whether the practice should be suspended or be allowed to continue the main tests are whether the appointment is derogatory to a practising member of the legal profession, or is likely to interfere with the discharge of the professional duties.
2. This appointment here is a highly respectable, and far from lowering the practitioner in the esteem of the public or of the other members of the profession, it is honorary service the social usefulness of which is universally recognised. Corning to the second test I note that the practitioner is not to get any monetary benefit. Certainly it will occupy a part of the practitioner's time; but it is stated on his behalf, and is also widely known in this State, that he has already been doing this welfare work for many years, without apparently losing his clients or giving rise to complaints of neglect of professional duties. Now also, he is likely to give this work more or less the same proportion of his time and energy so that the appointment makes no material difference to his attention to his professional duties. Again, it is always reasonable that lawyers should be encouraged to devote all their spare time to respectable and socially useful welfare work.
3. The rule about suspension of practice is discretionary. Our rule lays down
either suspend such legal practitioner from practice or pass such orders as the said Court may think fit.
The more elaborate rule of the Calcutta High Court states:
The High Court may either grant leave to continue practice or if such appointment shall appear to be derogatory or likely to interfere with the discharge of his practice the authorities may require him to suspend practice while holding such appointment.
4. I, therefore, grant leave to advocate Avadh Bihari Lal to continue practice even while holding the appointment of Hony. Director of Backward Classes Welfare.
5. A copy of the order should be given to the advocate concerned and another to the Advocate-General for communication to the department in which he has to work.
Leave to practice granted.