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State Vs. Abanikanta Roy and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtOrissa High Court
Decided On
Case NumberMisc. Judicial Case No. 7 of 1957
Judge
Reported inAIR1959Ori69
ActsBar Councils Act, 1926 - Sections 10
AppellantState
RespondentAbanikanta Roy and anr.
Appellant AdvocateAdv. General
Respondent AdvocateH. Mohapatra, R.N. Misra, G.K. Misra and R.N. Saha
Excerpt:
- motor vehicles act, 1988 [c.a. no. 59/1988]section 173(1) proviso; [d. biswas, amitava roy & i.a.ansari, jj] appeal without statutory deposit but within limitation/or extended period of limitation maintainability - held, if the provision of a statute speaks of entertainment of appeal, it denotes that the appeal cannot be admitted to consideration unless other requirements are complied with. the provision of sub-section (1) of section 173 permits filing of an appeal against an award within 90 days with a rider in the first proviso that such appeal filed cannot be entertained unless the statutory deposit is made. the period of limitation is applicable only to the filing of the appeal and not to the deposit to be made. it, therefore, appears that an appeal filed under section 173 cannot.....s. barman, j.1. this is a case under s. 10 of the indian bar councils act regarding the conduct of one shri abani kanta roy and one shri sovesh chandra roy, both advocates of this court. shri abani kanta roy came into the picture as the official liquidator appointed by this court. these roys who are involved in these proceedings are two young members of the bar. what happened was this :2. on august 9, 1954 shri abani kanta roy (hereinafter referred to as shri abani) was appointed as the official liquidator of the lakshmi hosiery mills ltd. (in liquidation) (hereinafter referred to as the company). it appears that since june 1952, one shri gagan behari mahanti and shri golak behari mahanti (hereinafter referred to as the mahantis) were in occupation of a certain house standing on holding.....
Judgment:

S. Barman, J.

1. This is a case under S. 10 of the Indian Bar Councils Act regarding the conduct of one Shri Abani Kanta Roy and one Shri Sovesh Chandra Roy, both Advocates of this Court. Shri Abani Kanta Roy came into the picture as the official liquidator appointed by this Court. These Roys who are involved in these proceedings are two young members of the Bar. What happened was this :

2. On August 9, 1954 Shri Abani Kanta Roy (hereinafter referred to as Shri Abani) was appointed as the Official Liquidator of the Lakshmi Hosiery Mills Ltd. (in liquidation) (hereinafter referred to as the company). It appears that since June 1952, one Shri Gagan Behari Mahanti and Shri Golak Behari Mahanti (hereinafter referred to as the Mahantis) were in occupation of a certain house standing on holding No. 961/499 in Ward No. 21 of Cuttack Municipality which was taken on lease by the said Company.

The said Mahantis did not pay anything either as rent or as damages for use and occupation of the said house with the consequence that when Shri Abani took over as Official Liquidator, about Rs. 7,000/- as arrears plus municipal taxes already became due from the Mahantis.

On a report from the Official Liquidator in December 1954, Mr. Justice Rao, as the Hon'ble Company Judge, by an order dated December 17, 1954 directed the Official Liquidator to issue notice to the occupants of the said house and file a suit for recovery of possession of the house and the arrear rent. Accordingly, on January 19, 1955, the Official Liquidator gave Shri Gagan Behari Mohanti alone notice to vacate the house within fifteen days of the receipt of the said notice failing which the Official Liquidator would be compelled to file a suit for ejectment, recovery of damages and costs.

Incidentally, the said notice was subsequently found to be defective. In reply to the said notice, Shri Gagan Behari Mohanti, by a letter dated February 4, 1955 (Ext. D) inter alia, raised a question as to who is entitled to realise the arrears of rent in respect of the house for reasons as stated in the said letter. On April 13, 1955, the Mohantis filed a petition (Ext. B) before the Hon'ble Company Judge, praying to allow them to pay the arrears in instalments at the rate of Rs. 500/- per quarter and permit them to occupy the house as tenant.

Thereafter, by an order dated April 22, 1955 (Ext. E) Mr. Justice Rao directed that the entire house rent from April 14, 1954 up to the date of the said order should be paid to the Liquidator within fifteen days failing which the Liquidator was directed to take necessary action and the previous house rent was directed to be realised by the Liquidator in due course according to law. The Mahantis approached the Court many times with offer of compromise but ultimately failed to keep up and act up to the same and hence arose the necessity for taking action.

Thereupon when the negotiation for compromise failed, the Official Liquidator by a Memo dated April 27, 1955 (Ext. A) applied for grant of Rs. 1,022/- as court-fee and some money for lawyer's fee and incidental expenses. On April 29, 1955, the Hon'ble Company Judge sanctioned Rs. 1,021/14/- only for court-fee and a sum of Rs. 200/- only towards incidental expenses and approved of the appointment of Shri Sovesh Chandra Roy (hereinafter referred to as Shri Sovesh) as lawyer to file and conduct the suit in, the Court of the Subordinate Judge, Cuttack.

The Official Liquidator had withdrawn the money from the Treasury on May 1, 1955 for the purposes of filing the suit for ejectment and recovery of the arrears of rent against the Mahantis. The filing of the suit was thought to be very urgent as it was going to be barred on June 22, 1955. So far as the High Court was concerned, the matter rested there and it was left to the Official Liquidator and the Advocate engaged for the purpose to see to the filing of the suit for which court-fee and other incidental expenses had been sanctioned and actually paid to the Official Liquidator.

3. Until August, 1955 the High Court was not in the picture at all. On August 4, 1955 the said Mahantis by a petition (Ext. C) made an offer of compromise of the suit filed against them. When the compromise came before the Hon'ble Company Judge for approval, it came to light for the first time that the court-fee had not been paid in full at the time of the filing of the suit. What these two young Roys actually did, will appear from the respective charges made against them which are set out as follows :--

Re : Shri Abani Kanta Roy, Advocate

Official Liquidator

Charges

(i)(a) He withdrew from the Treasury Rs. 1,221/14/- for filing the suit against the said Mahantis for ejectment and recovery of arrears of rent. But he filed the suit on June 22, 1955 with a court-fee of Re. 1/- and took time on three successive dates namely, Tune 22, 1955, July 28, 1955 and August 9, 1955, for payment of the court-fees by filing petitions with false representations to the Court that the money for court-fee was not available for payment.

(b) He thus attempted to evade payment of court-fee in order to benefit the defendants in the suit and took risk of the plaint being rejected by the Subordinate Judge for non-payment of the court-fee without any justification and without intimation to the Hon'ble Company Judge who had already rejected the offer of a settlement and directed him to file a suit.

(ii) He instructed the Advocate, Shri Sovesh Chandra Roy to issue a notice under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act on May 2, 1953 to the tenants though he (the official liquidator Shri Abani Kanta Roy) had already issued notice on January 19, 1955 with a view to create an excuse for delaying institution of the suit,

(iii) After withdrawing money from the Court for the express purpose of filing the suit, he negotiated out of Court for a compromise which was indefinite and asked his Advocate Shri Sovesh Chandra Roy not to pay the court-fee as there was negotiation for compromise though he knew or should have known that the terms were not beneficial to the Company and thereby he was guilty of professional misconduct.

Re: Shri Sovesh Chandra Roy, Advocate.

CHARGES

(i) He was engaged as an Advocate for the purpose o filing the said suit against the Mahantis for ejectment and recovery of the arrears of rent. Though he received the papers and money from his client, the Official Liquidator, on May 2, 1955 he did not pay court-fee along with the plaint and filed three successive petitions for time on June 22, 1955, July 28, 1955 and August 9, 1955 with false allegations in the Court of the Subordinate Judge, Cuttack, asking for time without any justification or necessity.

(ii) He made unnecessary allegations in the plaint that the defendants were trespassers with a view to weave out a defence if need be for nonpayment of court-fee in time.

These charges were communicated to the two Advocates by the District Judge, Cuttack, on December 16, 1958.

4. Re: Shri Abani Kanta Roy, Advocate

Official Liquidator.

Now we propose to deal first with the charges against the Official Liquidator Shri Abani Kanta Roy, Advocate.

It appears that Shri Abani had, after withdrawing the money from the Treasury on May 1, .1955, paid to the Advocate Shri Sovesh on the very following day on May 2, 1955, the entire amount which had been drawn from the Treasury for the purpose of filing the suit. It appears that Shri Abani entrusted the matter entirely to the Advocate who undertook the responsibility of filing the suit as the Company's Lawyer. The question, however, remains as to the degree of Shri Abani's responsibility to see that the suit was, in fact, instituted by his Advocate on his behalf.

As an Official Liquidator Shri Abani was an Officer of the Court and it was for him to see that the suit was actually filed by the Advocate. Shri Abani's responsibility as such Officer of the Court did not end by handing over of the money to his Advocate. He should have pursued the matter and seen that the suit was actually filed as ordered by the Hon'ble Company Judge. Shri Abani should also have kept in view the background that the Hon'ble Company Judge had made the said order directing the filing of the suit against the Mahantis, after a talk of settlement had failed. The Hon'ble Company Judge intended the order to be peremptory and expected his order to be carried out without delay.

5. There is, however, one other aspect of the matter which is this : This was happening just before the Summer Vacation of 1955. The Civil Court Summer Vacation, in fact, was to commence from May 16, 1955 and the Civil Courts were to reopen on June 21, 1955. The last working day before the commencement of the Summer Vacation was May 14, 1955. Strictly in terms of the Hon'ble Company Judge's order, the suit should have been filed by May 14, 1955.

There seems, however, to be some plausible reason for the official liquidator not filing the suit on May 14, 1955 in these circumstances, namely, that a second notice to quit dated May 3, 1955 had to be given to the Mahantis to deliver vacant possession of the premises to the Official Liquidator at the end of May 21, 1955. The first notice to quit dated January 19, 1955 was found to be defective as the notice did not expire on the date of expiry of the month of the tenancy and furthermore the notice was given to only one of the Mahantis whereas the notice should have been given to both the Mahantis together.

Therefore a second notice was rightly thought necessary. Therefore, advisedly a second notice had to be given on May 3, 1955 as the first notice was defective. Shri Abani did not come to Cuttack until the first week of July, 1955 because he had fallen ill at Balasore. It appears from his letter dated July 4, 1955 to the Registrar, High Court (Ext. G) that he, in fact met with an accident during the holidays which had injured his head. However, on his return to Cuttack early in July 1955, he came to know that the suit had been filed. There was, however, no occasion for Shri Abani to come to know of the unusual situation that the court-fees were not actually paid in full when the suit was filed on June 22, 1955, nor was there any circumstance or reason for suspicion to put him on enquiry in that direction.

6. With regard to the successive petitions for adjournment made before the Court, Shri Abani himself never made any petition to the Court nor was there any occasion for so doing because he had already, on record, an Advocate who was engaged in the matter. In fact, he did not return to Cuttack until the first week of July. Therefore, on the date of the first adjournment on June 23, 1955 Shri Abani was not at Cuttack. So he did not know what Shri Sovesh was doing in the matter at Cuttack.

7. It was not until about the end of July 1955 that Shri G.B. Mahanti, Advocate, approached Shri Abani on behalf of his client for a compromise and Shri Abani candidly admitted that he then instructed his Advocate Shri Sovesh to apply for adjournment, as the compromise talk was going on. Shri Abani, however, did not himself file the petition for adjournment nor did he know the contents of the petition that was filed by Shri Sovesh.

8. It was not until August 4, 1955 that the proposed terms were ultimately agreed to between the Official Liquidator and the Mahantis and a petition for sanction of the compromise terms as agreed, was filed on 8-8-1955. But the matter had to wait until the Hon'ble Company Judge actually held single Judge Bench sitting till 11-8-1955. Naturally Shri Abani again had to instruct his Advocate Shri Sovesh to take further time. On this occasion also he did not file the petition for adjournment nor did he know the contents of the petition filed by Shri Sovesh.

9. From the conduct of Shri Abani, it does not appear to us that he took any part in the matter of an attempt to evade payment of court-fee in order to benefit the defendants in the suit or that he had any ulterior motive as alleged in the charge. Still however, Shri Abani should have taken the Hon'ble Company Judge into confidence and kept him in the know or things, whatever the position was, so far as he knew or came to know. On the other-hand, there is no evidence that Shri Abani actually was in the know of things which were within the special knowledge of Shri Sovesh alone, who was entrusted with the matter as the Company's lawyer.

10. As regards the second notice under Section 109 of the Transfer of Property Act, after the matter was left in the charge of an advocate who was engaged to file and conduct the suit Shri Abani as client had no responsibility. Besides, the first notice dated 19-1-1955 having been on the face of it an invalid notice, a second notice was necessary. In any event, the charge against Shri Abani that he did anything as alleged in the matter of giving the second notice with a view to create an excuse for delaying institution of the suit has not been proved.

11. With regard to the third charge for entering into a fresh negotiation for compromise, it certainly was the duty of the Official Liquidator to consider any reasonable terms for possible compromise of the suit, if it was in the interests or the Company. Shri Abani, as Official Liquidator, in this case considered the terms offered on behalf of the Mahantis to be reasonable and placed the same before the Hon'ble Company Judge for approval in due course. There was nothing wrong in considering or entering into negotiation for compromise.

There is no evidence to show that Shri Abani did anything in bad faith. As regards the alleged indefiniteness of the proposed terms, there was no want of good faith on the part of the Official Liquidator. It was contended on behalf of the official liquidator Shri Abani that when the matter, in any event, had to be placed before the Hon'ble Company Judge for sanction, the alleged indefiniteness could perhaps be resolved if the Hon'ble Company Judge had specified as to how the amount to be spent by the Mahantis towards the maintenance and upkeep of the house should be determined.

When the compromise talk was going on, it was only natural to think that if the court-fee was paid, that would mean an additional load on the defendants ultimately and the Official Liquidator rightly thought that it would be difficult to effect compromise once the court-fee was paid and accordingly ho instructed his lawyer to ask for time for payment of the court-fee on 28-7-1955 and the Court was pleased to extend time till 9-8-1955.

In the meantime, sanction of the Hon'ble Company Judge was to be taken for acceptance of the proposed terms which were offered by the Mahantis for compromise. The Hon'ble Judge, however, did not hold a single Judge Bench sitting as aforesaid until 11-8-1955 and therefore further time had to be taken again on 9-8-1955 for payment of the court-fee and the Court was pleased to extend time till 18-8-1955. Of course Shri Abani did not know what ground the Advocate was actually mentioning in his several petitions to Court for taking time.

Ultimately, however, when the compromise was not sanctioned by the Hon'ble Company Judge, the court-fee stamp was purchased and paid on 18-8-1955. In any event there was a genuine attempt for a compromise of the suit and the conduct of Shri Abani, the Official Liquidator, throughout the proceedings was nothing wrong. He with the best of intention tried for a possible compromise.

12. In this view of the matter, we find that the charges against the Official Liquidator Shri Abani Kanta Roy have not been proved and therefore the proceedings as against him are dropped.

13. Re: Shri Sovesh Chandra Roy, Advocate: This leads us to deal with the charges against the Company's lawyer Advocate Shri Sovesh Chandra Boy. It appears that Shri Sovesh Chandra Roy was enrolled as an Advocate of this Court in April, 1954. Within about a year of his enrolment he was engaged in this matter as a lawyer for the Company. At the time he was engaged he had not sufficient experience and was still immature in his profession. In the background he came into the picture in May 1955 as a lawyer for the Official Liquidator of the Company.

14. For convenience, I propose to take the second charge first against Shri Sovesh for making unnecessary allegations in the plaint in the suit with the alleged intention as stated in paragraph 2 of the charge dated 16-12-1955. Paragraphs 3 and 4 of the plaint (Ext. 4) show that an alternative case had been made out on the basis that the defendants were liable as trespassers.

The necessity for this alternative pleading arose because of a letter dated 4-2-1955 (Ext. D) from one of the defendant-Mahantis in reply to the first notice to quit dated 19-1-1955. In the said letter (Ext. D) Shri Mahanti raised a question that troubled him as to 'who is entitled to realise these arrears of rent in respect of this house.'

Apparently, the Mahantis were inducted into the house by one of the Directors of the Company, Shri N.K. Das who had no authority to allow them to occupy the house and as such they were liable to be treated as trespassers. In view of the said letter, the Advocate Shri Sovesh was justified in making an alternative case in the plaint as pleaded, namely, for recovery of arrears of rent on the basis of tenancy or alternatively for the recovery of damages for unlawful use and occupation on the basis that they were trespassers.

15. In this connection it must be noted that the last, portion of the charge No. 2 is vague and rather unintelligible. The learned Advocate-General sought to spell out and give a meaning to the expression 'to weave out a defence, if need be, for non-payment of court-fees in time' -- that it meant to help the defendants to take out a plea for non-payment of court-fees in time. We are not satisfied with this explanation.

16. Our finding, therefore, is that Shri Sovesh has not been proved to be guilty of charge No. 2.

17. Then we come to the main charge against Shri Sovesh for non-payment of court-fee and making false allegations to Court in the successive petitions made by him for taking time without any justification or necessity.

18. The admitted facts in this connection are that the Advocate Shri Sovesh filed the suit on 22-6-1955 on payment of court-fee of Re. 1/- although he had been paid Rs. 1,021/14/- on account of court-fee and Rs. 200/- for incidental expenses by the Official Liquidator as early as 2-5-1955. It is further admitted by Shri Sovesh that he made three successive petitions on 22-6-1955; 28-7-1955 and 9-8-1955 for taking time.

It was also admitted that he exercised his discretion to make certain incorrect statements in the said petitions with a view to induce the Court to grant adjournments, because, as he felt, it was impossible to obtain time on the ground that a compromise negotiation was then going on between the parties. On these admitted facts, let us examine the position. For this purpose, we shall first take up the charge of non-payment of court-fee.

In this connection two periods have to be taken into consideration, namely, from 22-6-1955 up to 28-7-1955 and the period from 28-7-1955 up to 18-8-1955 when the court-fees were actually paid. For the second period from 28-7-1955 to 18-8-1955 Shri Sovesh was not responsible for nonpayment of court-fees because by the end of July the Mahantis had made another offer to the Official Liquidator for compromise of the suit. Thereupon the Official Liquidator instructed his Advocate Shri Sovesh to take time for payment of court-fees because there was a talk of settlement going, on between the parties.

The Official Liquidator's specific' instructions to his Advocate Shri Sovesh in this behalf were sufficient to protect Shri Sovesh for non-payment during this latter period. Now the whole question is narrowed down to the earlier period between 22-6-1955 and 28-7-1955, that is to say, why did not Shri Sovesh pay the court-fees in full before the Mahantis offered terms for compromise of the suit.

There is no denying the fact that the Advocate Shri Sovesh throughout had the entire amount of Rs. 1,221/14/- with him. It was contended by the learned counsel appearing for him that according to calculation of Shri Sovesh the court-fee actually payable was Rs. 1,098/12/- and not Rs. 1,021-14/-, that is to say, it was found to be Rs. 76/14/- more than what was ear-marked by the Hon'ble Company Judge.

It was said that Shri Sovesh thought that he could not divert towards court-fees any sum out of Rs. 200/- paid to him, earmarked for incidental expenses. In this connection, he referred to the letter of the Official Liquidator to the Registrar dated 27-4-1955 asking for grant of Rs. 1,022/-for court-fee and also some incidental expenses (Ext. A). Then he also referred to a letter of the Official Liquidator to Shri Sovesh dated 30-4-1955 communicating to him the approval of his appointment as the Company's lawyer in the case and also that the Hon'ble Company Judge had sanctioned a sum of Rs. 1,021/14/- only for court-fee and a sum of Rs. 200/- only towards incidental expenses.

It was contended that the Hon'ble Company Judge had sanctioned a specific amount and the very fact that Rs. 1,021/14/-, that is to say, the figure, just two annas less than Rs. 1,022/- prayed for by the Official Liquidator in his letter (Ext-A) just referred to, shows that this deduction of two annas from the amount prayed for was intended to be meticulous about the exact amount of Rs. 1,021/14/-, and no more, which was specifically ear-marked for court-fee and therefore Shri Sovesh thought that he could not spend any money in excess of the sum of Rs. 1,021/14/- sanctioned for the purpose.

On calculation, Shri Sovesh, as his story was, came to find that the court-fee required was Rs. 1,098/12/; that is to say, Rs. 76/14/- more than the sanctioned amount. Therefore, his excuse for not paying the court-fee was that he had not the sufficient money to pay the court-fee in full. The force or correctness of this argument, however, depends on the question as to when he came to know the correct amount of court-fee to be Rs. 1,098/12/-.

According to Shri Sovesh's story, he came to know that the correct amount of court-fee was Rs. 1,098/12/- on June 22, 1955 and accordingly he filed the first petition to Court for time to pay the balance court-fee because he had not the entire amount with him he was short by Rs. 76/14/-. We have seen the original plaint, on the first page of which the calculation of court-fee appears in red ink. The entries show that the court-fee was calculated at Rs. 1,098/12/- on June 30, 1955.

Therefore, we fail to understand how on June 22, 1955 Shri Sovesh could come to know that the actual court-fee required was Rs. 1,098/12/-. In our view there is no excuse whatsoever for nonpayment of court-fee on June 22, 1955. Even if his story was correct, he should have shown his bona fides by paying the entire sum of Rs. 1,021/14/- which was with him and asked for time for payment of the deficit of Rs. 76/14/- to make up the correct amount of Rs. 1,098/12/- required.

Shri Sovesh then could have taken instructions from the Official Liquidator for making up the deficit or moved, through him, the Hon'ble Company Judge for sanction of the balance to make up the deficit. In his explanation to the Hon'ble Company Judge contained in his letter dated August 30, 1955 addressed to the Deputy Registrar, Shri Sovesh never mentioned about this fact that the court-fee was, on calculation, found to be more, namely, Rs. 1,098/12/-.

There Shri Sovesh said that he came to Cut-tack on June 22, 1955 and that as it was not the day for purchase of court-fee stamps (obtainable from the Treasury only on Tuesdays and Fridays), he filed the suit plaint on June 22, 1955 with a petition for permission to pay court-fees within a month and that the office calculated the court-fee payable at Rs. 1,021/14/- and the Court granted time till July 28, 1955 for payment of court-fee.

This explanation of Shri Sovesh was his first reaction to the Deputy Registrar's letter of August, 24, 1955 when the Hon'ble Company Judge was enquiring into the matter as to why the court-fee was not paid in fall at the time of filing the suit. Shri Sovesh's subsequent reply dated January 18, 1956 to the charges and his affidavit dated March 5, 1956 were results of after-thought.

19. In this view of the matter we find that Shri Sovesh did not pay the court-fee along with the plaint and that there was no justification for such non-payment.

20. This leads us to the consideration of the charge of false allegations that Shri Sovesh made to Court asking for time without any justification or necessity. In this connection the contents of the first petition dated June 22, 1955 (Ext. 2) are relevant. In the first petition he pleaded three grounds for grant of time, namely, that he had not the entire court-fees and further that the Court had just reopened on that date and also that it being not a Treasury day it was not possible for him to deposit the entire court-fee.

The charge is that he made false allegations to the Court that he had not the entire court-fees with him. It was contended on behalf of Shri Sovesh that he knew the correct amount of court-fee payable to be Rs. 1,098/12/- and not Rs. 1,021/14. As we have already said, the force or correctness of this argument, however, depends on the question as to when and how he came to know the correct amount of court-fee to be Rs. 1,098/ 12/-; and furthermore if Shri Sovesh in his petition dated June 22, 1955 (Ext. 2) had specifically mentioned the figure Rs. 1,098/12/- as the correct amount of court-fee which he discovered to be payable, it would have been another matter.

When, however, the correct amount of Rs. 1,098/12/- was not specifically mentioned in the petition, this argument advanced on behalf of Shri Sovesh cannot be accepted by us. Besides, the calculation of the court-fee at the figure Rs. 1,098/12/- does not appear to have been in existence until June 30, 1955 as appears from the body of the plaint in original as hereinbefore stated and the order sheet (I) hereinafter referred to.

Therefore, we cannot accept his explanation as given by him either in his reply to the charges or in his affidavit which, as 1 have already said, was a mere after-thought. In paragraph 1 of his reply dated January 18, 1956, to the charge of false allegations, as also in his affidavit dated March 5, 1956, Shri Sovesh said that before filing the suit on June 22, 1955, he calculated the court-fee payable at about Rs. 1,100/-.

Then in paragraph 2 of his said reply as also in paragraph 2 of his affidavit dated March 5, 1956, Shri Sovesh said that on June 22, 1955 the office also calculated the court-fee payable at Rs. 1,021-14-0. This is self contradictory. In the body of the plaint the truth appears to be that there was no calculation by the office on June 22, 1955 but on June 30, 1955.

In this connection, we should refer to certain dates in the order-sheet in Title Suit No. 39 of 1955 in the Court of the Subordinate Judge, Cuttack, (Ext. I), where it appears that under date June 22, 1955 there is no reference to calculation of court-fee- It only says

'Register. Put up on 24-6-55 with office note'.

Then again, on June 24, 1955, there is an entry-

'Office note is not ready. Put up with office note on 30-6-55.'

Then, on June 30, 1955 the order-sheet says--

'........ Plaintiffs petition for time to pay court-fee is put up. Time allowed till 28-7-55 when plaintiff to pay the deficit court-fee worth Rs. 1,098/12/-.

Therefore, from the order-sheet (Ext. 1) it is clear that there was no calculation of the court-fee on June 22, 1955 and, in fact, there was no calculation of correct amount of court-fee payable until June 30, 1955. We do not see how Shri Sovesh could spin out a story that in view of more court-fee required on June 22, 1955, he could not pay the court-fees in full on that date. Therefore, it is clear that he made false allegations in his first petition dated June 22, 1955 to Court asking for time without justification or necessity.

21. As regards the two subsequent petitions dated July, 28, 1955 and August 9, 1955, the real ground for taking time was that the Advocate Shri Sovesh had by that time received specific instructions from his client, the Official Liquidator Shri Abani, that in view of the pending talk for settlement of the suit, Shri Sovesh was asked to take time for payment of court-fee, as the compromise, if sanctioned, was to be made out of Court.

Shri Sovesh, however, in his two subsequent petitions did not refer to the talk of settlement as a ground for taking time. In the second petition dated July 28, 1955 (Ext. 2 (a)) he said that as the entire amount of court-fee was not with him, it could not be paid and accordingly he asked for time. In the third petition dated August 9 1955 (Ext. 2(b)) Shri Sovesh stated that the Official Liquidator was otherwise busy in the High Court and by mistake the court-fee challan could not be made and therefore he asked for further time.

In all these petitions Shri Sovesh was admittedly concealing the truth. In his letter to the Deputy Registrar dated August 30, 1955, his explanation was that in the meanwhile he received instructions from the Official Liquidator that a talk of compromise was going on and to obtain time for payment of court-fee on July 28, 1955; and that as he felt it impossible to obtain time from Court on the ground that a compromise negotiation was going on between the parties, he exercised his own discretion and took the plea, as a ground for taking time that it was not the day when the stamps could be sold and also the money could not be arranged.

Subsequently again on instruction from the Official Liquidator to obtain further time, Shri Sovesh accordingly applied for time again on August 9, 1955 and in his discretion Shri Sovesh mentioned the same ground as before. Therefore, he is found to have made false allegations in all the three petitions.

22. We are not satisfied with any of Shri Sovesh's explanations on charge No. 1 either as to non-payment of the court-fee or as to his false allegations in the several petitions to Court for taking time. We, therefore, find him guilty of this charge.

23. As to punishment, we had given serious consideration to this case. In 1955 Shri Sovesh was an inexperienced Advocate of only one year's standing. Immaturity and his young age had greatly weighed with us in the matter of punishment. There is no doubt that he showed indiscretion in his conduct of the case as the lawyer for the Company. This case should be a lesson to this yonug Advocate Shri Sovesh and he should always remember, during, yet a long legal career in front of him --that the position of an advocate is very responsible and he has not only duty to his client but is also answerable to Court.

As observed by the Supreme Court in In the matter of 'G' a Senior Advocate of Supreme Court, AIR 154 SC 557, an Advocate is bound to conduct, himself in a manner befitting the high and honourable profession to whose privileges he has so long been admitted, and if he departs from the high standards which that profession has set for itself and demands of him in professional matters, he is liable to disciplinary action.

24. In the course of the hearing before us, an affidavit was filed on behalf of Shri Sovesh admitting his inexperience and incorrect impressions which were responsible for the non-payment of the court-fee at the time of or immediately after the filing of the plaint and for the statements made in the three applications for time. In the said affidavit he also expressed regret and offered his unqualified apology for the same. In view of his unqualified apology and having regard to his inexperience and young age , we desire to take a lenient view and accordingly reprimand Shri Sovesh Chandra Roy, Advocate, for his conduct. There will be no order as to costs in these proceedings throughout.

R.L. Narasimham, C.J.

25. I agree.

G.C. Das, J.

26. I agree.


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