N.M. Golvalker, J.
1. The Sessions Judge Sarguja at Ambikapur has by his report under Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code, recommended that the order dated 26-7-1973 passed by the Additional District Magistrate (J), Ambikapur in Criminal Case No. 505/73, whereby the prayer of Shri N. N. Singh, Advocate to dispense with the attendance of the accused Lohra on that date of hearing, was rejected on the ground that no Vakalatnama was filed by him authorising him to appear for the accused, be set aside as it was patently illegal and unwarranted.
2. The learned Additional District Magistrate lost sight of the fact that under Article 22, an accused has a right to be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice and in the instant case, Shri Singh Advocate had been so appearing till then and that not only he appeared, but could also appear, act and fully represent the said accused on the basis of a memo of appearance under his own signature declaring himself to be authorised and instructed to so appear. No Vakalatnama, as is required in civil proceedings, is necessary for pleading and acting for any party to any criminal proceedings.
3. 'Pleader' is defined in Section 4(1)(r) of the Criminal Procedure Code as a Pleader or Mukhtyar authorised under any law for the time being in force to practise in a Court of law and includes (1) an Advocate a Vakil and an Attorney of a High Court so authorised...Shri Singh, being an Advocate, was authorised to practise in a Court. What the expression 'Practise' means is duly laid down by the Supreme Court to include both acting and pleading. (See : 4SCR1 ). Thus on the date of hearing, Shri Singh Advocate, when he prayed for grant of exemption to accused Lohra from personal appearance in Court for that date, he was acting for the said accused and he could do that without any formal Vakalatnama in his favour. His own declaration of his being authorised by the said accused Lohra was sufficient.
4. I. therefore, accept this reference, set aside the order dated 26-7-1973 and direct the Additional District Magistrate concerned to formally pass now an order granting exemption to the accused Lohra for the hearing on 21-7-1973. He shall also note for his future guidance that he shall not pass such puerile orders hereafter and waste time not only of his own, but also of higher Courts. Such orders betray a lamentable lack of judicial mind and approach.