1. This matter comes before us on a resolution of the Council of the Vakils' Association with reference to a letter written on the 23rd July 1912 by a Vakil of this Court. By direction of this Court the matter was inquired into by the Council of the Vakils' Association and the Vakil was asked by the Council to submit an explanation that he might have in connection with the writing of this letter. At a meeting of the Council of the Association held on the 22nd February 1913 the following resolution was passed: 'Resolved that taking all the facts in the explanation to be true, this council is of opinion that the Vakil is guilty of grave professional misconduct in writing the letter dated 23rd July 1912 to S. Madhuvaier, private Vakil, Kumbakonam. It is therefore requested that this Honourable Court may be graciously pleased to take action against the said Vakil under Section 10 of the Letters Patent'.
2. In dealing with this case we proceed on the same assumption as that adopted by the Vakils' Association namely, that 'the facts in the explanation are true.' The letter as translated is in these terms.
3. 'Please destroy this after perusal. Many crores of prostrations. Your letter to hand: I am glad I have got it.' (This sentence, ' Your letter to hand. I am glad I have got it,'does not appear in the translation of the letter which is before us, but we may take it that this is an accurate translation of the sentence. It is the translation suggested by the Vakils' Counsel, Mr. Parthasarathi Aiyangar.) Then the letter goes on: 'The Thirukkalavoor incendirarism case is to come On for trial before Singaravelu Mudaliar Avergal the Sub-Magistrate. The said Mudaliar was a Sub-Magistrate here at Tanjore. He was previously the Sub-Magistrate of Kumbakonam Town. He was a particular friend of mine when he was here. I need not write to you more. You will know it if you go over here to the town and make enquires. I shall by all means positively secure advantage to our side. However great be the Vakil that may appear what I shall be able to achieve before the said Sub-Magistrate will be different. I shall tell you that if you come in person. I intend going to Mannargudi on the 30th instant. You may see me positively if you come here on Friday the 26th instant. Or if you intimate the time of your arrival I shall remain in town. I may perhaps go to Kumbakonam on the 25th instant. I shall then see you. I intend going to Mannargudi on the 27th instant. We shall surely succeed in the aforesaid case, and there need be no anxiety. Please get me engaged as Vakil. Ask the Sub-Magistrate too, if you please. I solicit a reply in any case.'The explanation of the vakil which we take to be true as regards all statements of facts, is this:
In regard to the letter dated 23-7-1912 I beg to state as follows: About June end or July beginning 1912 Mr. Madhuvaier a private vakil approached me on behalf of Thiruklavdor party in what is called the Thiruklavoor arson case, and proposed certain terms which I accepted. As he had not brought the records with him he said he would go to me subsequently with the party and the records. A few days later, Mr. Madhuvaier wrote to me a letter which unfortunately I have not preserved to the following effect as far as I am able to recollect its contents: 'The clients agreed to engage you on the terms settled but are now hesitating on the ground of some information that the old Magistrate has been transferred and the new Magistrate is said to have had a difference and consequent misunderstanding with you. The informant seems to have said that the Magistrate himself gave him the information. The clients are afraid that they might lose a good case by engaging one who was not on good terms with the Magistrate. I assured the clients that it could not be so but they were still hesitating and considering if it would not be better to go to a Vakil of longer standing. Please write to me if the information is untrue and also what you think of the case. I shall speak to the clients and then go to you with them.'It was in reply to this letter that I wrote the letter to question. I had a difference with one Mr. E. Singaravelu Mudaliar, Sub-Magistrate of Valangiman but not with the Singaravelu Mudaliar who was to be new Magistrate of the Court. My relations with the latter were good and were known to be such at Tanjore where he was previously Magistrate. Far; from the case being lost to the clients by engaging me I thought I would be more advantageous to the party as I had appeared before him on previous occasions and known his ways and as I had accidently come to know of certain facts regarding that case which would be useful to the party and which would not be available to others. This was what I conveyed in the letter in question and asked him to go and see me with a view to tell him what information I had about the case. I also told him that he might verify from the Magistrate himself that I had no difference and no misunderstanding with him. As the letter was a reply to Mr. Madhuvier's to remove a misapprehension I advised him to tear it off.
4. The Vakil has been represented before us by a very experienced Advocate of this Court. The Advocate General was requested to appear in support of the notice to show cause. He has, however, as amicus curiae urged before us that this is a case in which we ought not to take action under the Letters Patent. We have considered the letter with great care by the light of the explanation. If I could read the letter as nothing more than a statement that the report referred to in the letter to which the letter of the Vakil purports to be a reply was unture, and if the rest of the Vakil's letter could be regarded as nothing more than a glorifying of himself and of his own professional powers, I may be of opinion that the letter though not in good taste, did not constitute an act of professional misconduct. To my mind, however, the letter is something a great deal more than a statement that it was not true that the relations between the Vakil and the Magistrate who was about to try the case in which the Vakil hoped to appear were strained, with some boastful observations thrown in. As I read the letter it appears to me that the writer of the letter intended to convey to the mind of the private Vakil to whom the letter was written that the writer was in a position to influence the Magistrate by indirect and improper means. If that is the right view of the letter, no one can contend for one moment that it does not constitute an act of professional misconduct on the part of the Vakil.
5. Having arrived at the conclusion that the Vakil was guilty of an act of professional misconduct we have considered whether we can accede to the request put forward by Mr. Parthasarathi Iyenger that a caution to the Vakil would meet the requirements of the case. We find ourselves unable to accede to the request, We have come to the conclusion that the imposing of a period of suspension is necessary, and the order of the Court is that Mr. * * * * a Vakil of this Court be suspended from practice for three months from this date.
Sankaran Nair, J.
6. I agree
7. I agree.