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Aswini Kumar Ghose and anr. Vs. Arabindo Bose and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Case NumberMatter No. 190 of 1951
Judge
Reported inAIR1952Cal178
ActsConstitution of India - Articles 19(1), 19(6) and 220; ; Constitution of India (First Amendment) Act, 1951 - Section 3(1); ; Supreme Court Advocates (Practice in High Courts) Act, 1951 - Section 2; ; Bar Councils Act - Sections 8(1), 14(2) and 15
AppellantAswini Kumar Ghose and anr.
RespondentArabindo Bose and anr.
Appellant AdvocateParty-in-person
Respondent AdvocateS.M. Bose, Adv. General and ; A.K. Sen, Jr. Standing Counsel
Cases ReferredRam Taruck v. Siddessuree Dossee
Excerpt:
- chakravartti, j.1. this rule under article 226 of the constitution india was issued at the instance of two petitioners, one of whom may, for all practical purposes, be left out off account. the first petitioner is one mr. aswini kumar ghose who, besides being an advocate of this court entitled to practise both on the original and the appellate side, is also an advocate of the supreme court. the second petitioner is one jnanendra nath chatterjee who is the defendant in a suit pending on the original side of this court and on whose behalf the first petitioner made an attempt to file a 'warrant of power and appearance'. it is alleged that the said warrant was at first received by an assistant in the suit registry department, but was subsequently returned by the first respondent, who is the.....
Judgment:

Chakravartti, J.

1. This Rule under Article 226 of the Constitution India was issued at the instance of two petitioners, one of whom may, for all practical purposes, be left out off account. The first petitioner is one Mr. Aswini Kumar Ghose who, besides being an Advocate of this Court entitled to practise both on the Original and the Appellate Side, is also an Advocate of the Supreme Court. The second petitioner is one Jnanendra Nath Chatterjee who is the defendant in a suit pending on the Original Side of this Court and on whose behalf the first petitioner made an attempt to file a 'warrant of power and appearance'. It is alleged that the said warrant was at first received by an Assistant in the Suit Registry Department, but was subsequently returned by the first respondent, who is the Suit Registrar in the Order Department of the Original Side, with the endorsement that it 'must be filed by an Attorney of this Court under High Court Rules and Orders, Original Side and not by an Advocate'. That allegation has not been denied.

2. The second respondent to the petition is the Registrar, Original Side. Against him it is not alleged that he interfered with the first petitioner in any way in his attempt to file a warrant of appearance on the present occasion, but it is said that he did so on a previous occasion when he refused to accept a warrant filed by the first petitioner in a Company matter and also that he, by certain letters, communicated certain administrative decisions of this Court taken on an application made by another Advocate of the Supreme Court. Those allegations also have not been denied.

3. From what has been stated above, it is clear that the real matter sought to be agitated in the present proceeding is the alleged right of the first petitioner to 'act' in the second petitioner's suit and that the latter has joined in the petition only as a person interested in the establishment of that right.

4. The Rule was issued by Bose, J., but as the learned Judge thought that the matter could be more advantageously heard by a larger Bench, he subsequently made a report to the Chief Justice to that effect under Chapter V, Rule 2 of the Original Side Rules. Thereupon the present Special Bench was constituted for hearing the matter.

5. Although the terms in which the Rule was issued are extremely wide, in the course of his argument before us, the first petitioner, who appeared in person, sought to make only a short and limited point. The Rule requires the respondents to show cause why an order or direction in the nature of an appropriate writ should not be issued for the enforcement of a fundamental right of the first petitioner, 'to wit, the right to practise, that is, to act and plead on the Original Side of this Court', as conferred on him by Act XVIII (18) of 1951 and guaranteed by Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India, as amended by Section 3 (1) (b) of the Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951 and why consequential orders should not be made, declaring the right of the first petitioner 'to act as well as plead without intervention of any attorney on' behalf of his clients on the Original Side of this Court', directing the warrant of appearance to be accepted and 'upholding the right' of the second petitioner 'to be defended............by qualified empowered counsel of his choice'. The variety of the consequential orders prayed for presents no complications, for if the first petitioner succeeded in establishing the right claimed by him, they would have all to be made, from whichever of the two alleged sources the right might be shown to flow. But as regards the source, the argument addressed to us made no reference to the alleged fundamental right and, in my opinion, the first petitioner was well-advised in avoiding it. Fundamental rights are rights which all citizens of India have by virtue of being such citizens. It could certainly not be said that any citizen of India had, merely by virtue of his being such citizen, the right to practise the profession of an Advocate or an Attorney in this Court, nor could it be said, particularly in view of Clause (6) of Article 19, whether as it stood originally or as it stands now, that the prescribing of professional qualifications necessary for practising the profession of an Attorney in this Court, constituted an infringement of the fundamental right guaranteed by Article 19(1)(g). The first petitioner, I apprehend, realised this and, therefore, although he had taken out the Rule in the wide terms I have already set out, he confined his argument to the provisions of the Supreme Court Advocates (Practice in High Courts) Act, 1951. It is accordingly only that Act which requires to be considered.

6. Before proceeding further, it will be useful to point out that the status of the first petitioner and the particular form of interference with his rights complained of by him enable Us to limit the scope of our enquiry in the present case still further. As stated in the petition, he began as a Vakil of this Court and was subsequently sworn in as an Advocate of the Original Side. Still later, he was enrolled as an Advocate under the Bar Councils Act. He is thus a non-Barrister Advocate of this Court who is entitled, even as such Advocate, to act and plead on the Appellate Side and to plead on the Original Side. For the latter right, he does not require to draw upon his status as an Advocate of the Supreme Court, because even before he became such Advocate, he already had, and still has, that right by virtue of his being an Advocate of this Court, entitled to practise on its Original Side. Besides, it is not alleged in the petition that anybody has denied his right to plead on the Original Side or prevented him from exercising it. Although, therefore, the Rule asks for a declaration of his 'right to practise, that is, to act and plead, on the Original Side of this Court', the only right which requires consideration in his case is the right to act. Whether a person who is not an Advocate of this Court at all or not an Advocate entitled to practise on the Original Side but is an Advocate of the Supreme Court, is now entitled, by reason of his being such Advocate, to plead in all jurisdictions of this Court, irrespective of the local rules, is a question which will have to be decided in a proper case when it arises. So far as the present case is concerned, the right of an Advocate of the Supreme Court to plead on the Original Side of this Court, merely on the strength of being such Advocate, does not call for decision. All that calls for decision is whether an Advocate of this Court, entitled to practise on the Original Side, who, as such Advocate, is entitled only to plead on that Side, but not to act becomes, on being enrolled as an Advocate of the Supreme Court, entitled to act as well.

7. It was contended that the answer to the above question must be in the affirmative and reliance was placed on Section 2 of the Supreme Court Advocates (Practice in High Court) Act (XVIII (18) of 1951). That section is in the following terms:

'2. Right of Supreme Court Advocates to practise in Court: Notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian Bar Councils Act (XXXVIII (38) of 1926), or in any other law regulating the conditions subject to which a person not entered in the roll of Advocates of a High Court may be permitted to practise in that High Court, every Advocate of the Supreme Court shall be entitled as of right to practise in any High Court, whether or not he is an Advocate of that High Court.'

8. There is a proviso to the section which is not material.

9. It will be seen that the section begins by excluding the operation of the Bar Councils Act and 'any other law', not to the whole extent of that Act or those laws, but only to the extent that they may contain provisions

'regulating the conditions subject to which a person not entered in the roll of Advocates of a High Court may be permitted to practise in that High Court.'

In other words, all that the section does by its opening clause is to remove the bar that may exist in any law against a person practising in a High Court without being an Advocate of that Court. It was contended that while the exclusion might be limited in the case of 'any other law', it was not so in the case of the Bar Councils Act, because after the words the figures 'XXXVIII (38) of 1926', there was a comma which separated the Bar Councils Act and indicated that the operation of the whole of that Act was excluded. In my view, it is not possible to accept that construction of the section. It is well-settled that punctuation and brackets form no parts of a statute, even when found on the text as printed by the official printer, but quite apart from that rule of construction, any effect which the comma might have had towards marking off or isolating the Bar Councils Act from the rest of the opening clause, is completely neutralised by the presence of the word 'other' in the phrase 'any other law'. That word quite clearly connects the Bar Councils Act with other laws as alternatives and subjects both to the qualification contained in the adjectival clause, 'regulating the conditions' etc., the provisions which the section has in view being provisions constituting the bar mentioned whether contained in the Bar Councils Act or in any other law. It must therefore be held that only those portions of the Bar Councils Act or 'any other law' are superseded which exclude persons, not enrolled as Advocates of a High Court, from the right of practising in that Court. Having thus eliminated the disabling provisions, the section proceeds to enact its own enabling provision and lays down that.

'every Advocate of the Supreme Court shall fee entitled as of right to practise in any High Court, whether or not he is an Advocate of that High Court.'

The words 'whether or not', which are not very opposite, need not mislead any one, because no one who is an Advocate of a particular High Court requires to be an Advocate of the Supreme Court in order to practise in that Court. What the sentence I have quoted from the section really means is that even if a person be not entered in the roll' of Advocates of a High Court, he will nevertheless be entitled to practise in it as of right, if he is an Advocate of the Supreme Court. To my mind, it is perfectly clear that what the section has in view is only the right of Advocates of the Supreme Court to practise in High Courts of which they are not Advocates. Before Act XVIII (18) of 1951, they were not entitled as of right to practise in such High Courts. The Act has now given them the right.

10. If such be the scope of the section, it is clear that the first petitioner, in his relation to this Court, is not within its purview at all. As I have pointed out already, he is an Advocate of this Court, entitled in that capacity to practise in both the Appellate and the Original Jurisdictions, and therefore in no way affected by provisions of law which stand in the way of persons, not borne on the roll of Advocates of this Court, practising here. For the purpose of practising in this Court, he does not require the aid of Section 2 of Act XVIII (18) and the section, as is clear from its language, does not purport to give him such unnecessary aid. The sole application of the section in his case is to give him a right to practise in High Courts other than the Calcutta High Court, where he is not borne on the roll of. Advocates although what the extent of that right is a further question which I shall presently proceed to consider. Similarly, the sole application of the section to this High Court is to give Supreme Court Advocates, who are not Advocates of this Court, the right to practise here So far as the first petitioner's rights in this Court are concerned, the section neither enlarges, nor abridges them but simply leaves them alone. I am therefore clearly of opinion that the endeavour made by the first petitioner to derive support for his claim from the provisions of Section 2 of Act XVIII (18) of 1951 Was entirely misdirected and as he could base his claim only on that provision, it must clearly fail.

11. But it was contended that the operative part of the section was the concluding part and in that part the section spoke of 'every Advocate of the Supreme Court' and gave him a right to practise in any High Court, 'whether or not he is an Advocates of that High Court'. The argument was that in view of the language used in the concluding part of the section, it must be construed as conferring on Advocates of the Supreme Court some right even in relation to their own High Courts, if they belonged to any. I have already indicated my view as to the inaccuracy of the expression 'whether or not', but assuming it is correctly used and the section purports to confer some right on Supreme Court Advocates even in relation to their own High Courts, it is pertinent to enquire what those rights are. I have already drawn attention to the structure of the section and pointed out that after excluding the operation of certain provisions of the Bar Councils Act and 'any other law' which are sufficiently indicated by a qualifying phrase, the section proceeds to make a positive provision as to the right of Advocates of the Supreme Court to practise in any High Court. The meaning of the section will become clearer if We examine a little more closely what the section in fact supersedes or repeals and what it enacts.

12. The provisions of the Bar Councils Act and 'any other law' which Section 2 of Act XVIII (18) supersedes are provisions:

'regulating the conditions, subject to which a person not entered in the roll of Advocates of a High Court may be permitted to practise in that High Court'.

So far as the Bar Councils Act is concerned, it contains two such provisions, one contained in Section 8(1) and the other contained in Section 14(2). The first section provides that

'no person shall be entitled as of right to practise in any High Court, unless his name is entered in the roll of the advocates of the High Court maintained under this Act.'

The second section provides that

'whether rules have been made by any High Court within the meaning of clause (24) of Section 3 of the General Clauses Act, 1897, or in the case of a High Court for which a Bar Council has been constituted under this Act, by such Bar Council under Section 15, regulating the conditions subject to which advocates of other High Courts may be permitted to practise in the High Court, such advocates shall not be entitled to practise therein otherwise than subject to such conditions.'

It will be noticed that the qualifying phrase contained in the section we are construing, reproduces largely the very language of these two provisions of the Bar Councils Act. So far as 'any other law' is concerned, I shall limit myself to provisions applicable to this Court. Section 9(4) of the Bar Councils Act preserves the right of this Court and the Bombay High Court to prescribe the qualifications to be possessed by persons applying to practise in the Original jurisdiction of those Courts, to grant or refuse any such application as they deem fit and to prescribe the conditions under which such persons shall be entitled to practise or plead. The conditions under which an Advocate of another High Court can practise on the Original Side of this Court are prescribed by Rule 38, Chapter V of the Original Side Rules which lays down that

'an Advocate of any other High Court or Chief Court in British India may, with the permission of the Chief Justice, appear and plead for parties in matters arising in or out of the Original jurisdiction, or in or out of Appeals therefrom, provided he is a member of the Bar of England or of Northern Ireland, or a member of the Faculty of Advocates of Scotland, or a person entitled to appear and plead on the Original Side of the High Court of Judicature at Bombay, and that he is properly instructed by an Attorney.'

There is also a similar rule framed under Section 15(b) of the Bar Councils Act which provides that an Advocate of another High Court can appear and plead in this Court only with the previous written permission of the Chief Justice and that again only in a particular case or cases. There can be no doubt at all that what the first part of section 2 of Act XVIII (18) of 1951 does is only to remove the bar contained in the two sections of the Bar Councils Act mentioned above and, so far as this Court is concerned, also in the two rules to which I have referred.

13. Proceeding now to the latter and the positive part of the section, all that it does is to make every Advocate of the Supreme Court entitled as of right to practise in any High Court, whether he is an Advocate of that Court or not. I have already pointed out that the true meaning of the section is that so far as Advocates of the Supreme Court are concerned, it removes the disability of their not being able to practise as of right in High Courts of which they are not Advocates. But assuming that the section has in contemplation all High Courts, including the one of which an Advocate of the Supreme Court may already be an Advocate, even then, the utmost that the section may be said to do is to put him in every High Court in the same position as Advocates of that Court, having the same rights. It confers no higher or greater rights on him. It is perfectly clear that what the section has in view is only the rights of advocates of the High Courts 'qua' Advocates and it is only those rights which are conferred on Advocates of the Supreme Court, irrespective of their being or not being Advocates of the High Courts concerned. Any right which an Advocate of a particular High Court does not possess as such Advocate in that Court is not within the contemplation of the section at all and an Advocate of the Supreme Court does not become entitled to any such right by virtue of the section. It may be that rights of Advocates vary from High Court to High Court and an Advocate of the Madras High Court may, for example, have in his Court other and further rights than those possessed by Advocates of Calcutta and Bombay in their respective High Courts. If so, an Advocate of the Supreme Court will have different rights in different High Courts, his rights in the case of each High Court being equal to the rights of the' Advocates of that Court, but in no High Court can they exceed the rights of the local Advocates. I have already pointed out in an earlier part of this judgment that whether in the case of this Court, (and so in the case of Bombay), where there is an internal classification of Advocates, maintained in exercise of powers specifically preserved by Sections 9(4) and 14(3) of the Bar Councils Act, an Advocate of the Supreme Court will become entitled to the rights of an Advocate of the Original Side as well, is a further question which does not require to be decided in the present case. Those sections of the Bar Councils Act have not been superseded or repealed by section 2 of Act XVIII (18) of 1951. But 'jeaving that question aside, the widest construction of which the section is capable is that as regards the right to practise in the different High Courts, it confers on Advocates of the Supreme Court, in relation to each High Court, all the rights which any Advocate of that Court has as such Advocate. More they are not given. The disability which the section removes and the right which it confers are co-extensive.

14. If such be the true view of the section which, in my opinion, is the only possible view, the right conferred by it on Advocates of the Supreme Court to practise as of right in the Calcutta High Court cannot include any right which Advocates of this Court do not possess. The maximum right which any Advocate of this Court has, is to act on the Appellate Side and to plead both on the Appellate and the Original Sides. An Advocate of this Court who is entitled to practise on the Original Side, can only plead on that side, but whether he is a Barrister or a non-Barrister Advocate, he cannot act on the Original Side. Under Rule 37 of Chapter I of our Original Side Rules, persons to whom the rules contained in the Chapter are applicable, i.e. 'persons entitled to appear and plead on the Original Side', 'may not appear unless instructed by an Attorney.' Under Rule 15 of Chapter VIII of the same Rules, a defendant must enter appearance by filing a memorandum, either' containing the name and place of business of his attorney or stating that he defends in person. If an Advocate of this Court cannot appear on the Original Side, unless instructed by an attorney and if he cannot file a memorandum of appearance on behalf of a defendant, the first Petitioner was entitled by virtue of his being an Advocate of the Supreme Court or by virtue of anything contained in section 2 of Act XVIII (18) of 1951, to appear for the second Petitioner in the suit pending on the Original Side without the intervention of an attorney, or to fife a 'warrant of power and appearance', as he attempted to do.

15. I may add that a shorter approach along another line leads to the same result. The careful words of Clause (9) of the Letters Patent of this Court provide that Advocates, Vakeels and Attorneys shall be authorised 'to appear' for the suitors of the High Court and 'to plead or to act, or to plead and act', according as the High Court may by its rules and directions determine, and subject to such rules and directions. By the operation of section 19(2) of the Bar Councils Act, that clause stands repealed to the extent it is inconsistent with the Act or with any rules framed thereunder, but save that certain powers are conferred on the Bar Council, the Act does not in any way detract from the powers conferred on the High Court by Clause (9) of the Letters Patent. On the other hand, the Bar Councils Act itself provides by section 9(4) that the powers of this High Court to prescribe the conditions under which persons applying to practise in its Original Jurisdiction shall be entitled to practise or plead shall not be affected by anything contained in the Act and it further provides by section 14(3) that nothing in that section

'shall be deemed to limit or affect the power of this Court to make rules determining the parsons who shall be entitled respectively to plead and to act on the Original Side.'

Lastly, the Civil Procedure Code which provides for the representation of a party by a Pleader and defines 'Pleader' as including an Advocate, a vakil and an attorney, nevertheless provides by section 119 that nothing in the Code shall be deemed to authorise any person on behalf of another to address a Chartered High Court in the exercise of its original civil jurisdiction, unless the Court has authorised him to do so, 'or to interfere with the power of the High Court to make' rules concerning advocates, vakils and attorneys.' None of these provisions has been repealed by Act XVIII (18) of 1951 which has only removed, in the case of Advocates of the Supreme Court, the restrictions obtaining in the High Courts against strangers to the Court practising there at all, but has made no attempt to interfere with the powers of the High Courts to determine what the rights of its own Advocates will be or how the right to practise will be distributed as between different classes of practitioners or adjusted as between the different jurisdictions. It is therefore impossible to contend that as soon as a person becomes an Advocate of the Supreme Court, he not only becomes entitled, by virtue of section 2 of Act XVIII of 1951, to practise in any High Court, but is also freed of all obligation to observe the rules and limitations which the High Courts may have, in the course of their internal administration, imposed on their own Advocates. Particularly is such a contention untenable in the case of the High Courts of Calcutta and Bombay by reason of the special provisions to which I have already referred. In my opinion, Section 2 of Act XVIII (18) of 1951 does not confer an unchartered freedom on the Advocates of the Supreme Court to practise in any High Court in any way they like, but only puts them, in each different High Court, on a par with the Advocates of that Court, where they must submit to the same terms and conditions as bind those Advocates It is, in my opinion, not arguable that although an Advocate of the Calcutta High Court cannot act on the Original Side of the Court and cannot appear on that side, unless instructed by an Attorney, an Advocate of the Supreme Court, who is perhaps an Advocate of another High Court which has no Original Side or perhaps not an Advocate of any High Court at all, can do so by virtue of Section 2 of Act XVIII (18) of 1951. There is nothing in that section which affects the force or validity of the local rules, governing the conditions of practice in the different High Courts, except so far as they exclude strangers altogether and may, by reason of that bar, exclude Advocates of the Supreme Court on the ground of their not being Advocates of the Court. The different conditions laid down by the different High Courts, subject to which their own Advocates must practise before them are not abrogated by the section in the case of Supreme Court Advocates, seeking to practise in those High Courts.

16. Some argument was addressed to us on the meaning of the word 'practise' and reference was made to Article 220 of the Constitution, Item 78 of List I of the Seventh Schedule and two decided cases. In a broad sense, the word 'practise' may cover both acting and pleading, but its meaning in a particular provision must always be determined by reference to the subject-matter of the provision and its context. It is therefore of no assistance to the petitioners that Article 220 forbids post-Constitution Judges of the High Courts to 'plead or act' in any Court or before any authority and that the marginal note to the Article describes its subject-matter as 'prohibition of practising'. A marginal note is hardly a place where precision of language is to be looked for, but in any event it is clear that what the draftsman required was to find a word which would cover both acting and pleading in the general sense of practising the law and not a word which would bring out the technical distinction between the two. A section in a statute may, for example, deal with transfers of various kinds, such as mortgages, sales and leases and the marginal note may simply say 'transfers'. Or to give a popular example, a passage in a book may describe matters which cause happiness in children and matters which cause them grief and the heading or marginal note may simply say 'feelings of children'. But because those general words are used in the marginal note, no one can say that wherever the word 'transfer' is used, it must mean all kinds of transfer or that wherever 'feelings of children' are found mentioned, the phrase must cover both joy and sorrow. In my opinion, the marginal note to Article 220 of the Constitution cannot possibly have the consequence of making the word 'practise' as used in section 2 of Act XVIII (18) of 1951, mean both acting & pleading. Of even less assistance is Item No. 78 of the Union List. That item deals with a subject of legislation and describes it as 'persons entitled to practise before the High Courts'. The phrase obviously seeks to bring all persons practising the law in the High Courts in various forms and capacities under one comprehensive term, so that all legislation relating to them or to the rights and conditions of their practice, however varied or different it may be, may fall within the item, but it does not suggest or imply that all such persons have the same or common rights or that 'practise' always means both acting and pleading. The statutory provisions relied on by the petitioners are, in my opinion, of no avail to them.

17. The decided cases cited by them do not carry them further. All that was held in 'Laurentius Ekka v. Dhuki Koeri', 4 Pat 766, the first case cited, was that the word 'practise' as used in section 4 of the Legal Practitioners Act which deals with the tight of an Advocate or a Vakil of a High Court to practise in Courts subordinate to that Court, would include, 'unless prohibited by any special rule', the right to appear, plead and act. In the first place, the case deals with the scope of an Advocate's right to practise in a subordinate Court which is very different from the right to practise in the High Court, the subject-matter of section 2 of Act XVIII (18). In the second place, the case itself recognises that the word 'practise' has no invariable meaning, but its connotation may be controlled by special rules and, lastly, it proceeds to refer specifically to the practice in the Calcutta High Court where, it is admitted, the word would have a different meaning. Reference is also made in the decision to an old case of this Court, 'Ram Taruck v. Siddessuree Dossee', 13 W. R. 60, which was something like a converse case to the one before us and where an Advocate, belonging to the only class of Advocates then existing, filed an appeal on the appellate side and it was held that he was entitled to practise only in the form of pleading, but was not entitled to act and file an appeal on behalf of a client. The Patna case is thus of no assistance to the petitioners. Nor is the case of 'In re Advocates', 52 Mad 92 (F B), the second case cited, of greater help. No general proposition was laid down in that case and the learned Judges only held that so far as the Madras Court was concerned, the Bar Councils Act made no distinction between the different jurisdictions of that High Court and gave no power to the Court to frame rules so as to prevent the Advocates from acting on the Original and Insolvency Sides and that, in those circumstances, the word 'practise' used in Section 14 of the Bar Councils Act, must, in its application to the Madras High Court, be construed as carrying the full meaning of appearing, acting and pleading. It was again pointed out in this case as well that the meaning of word 'practise' might be controlled and limited by rules and particular reference was made to the saving provisions in the Bar Councils Act relating to the Calcutta and Bombay High Courts by virtue of which those Courts might make rules and limit the scope of practice on their Original Sides. The decision cited, therefore, lend no countenance to the contention of the petitioners.

18. In my opinion, the meaning of the word 'practise' as used in section 2 of Act XIII (18) of 1951, is obviously controlled by the peculiar object of the section which is to clothe Advocates of the Supreme Court with the right to practise in every High Court in India as of right. It is to be noticed that the right given is only a right to practise as an Advocate and no other right. But since the rights of all Advocates of High Courts in their respective Courts are not the same, it is a mistake in method to try to ascertain first what the abstract connotation of the word 'practise' is and then conclude that in the application of section 2 to every High Court, it must have the same and no other meaning. On the other hand, it is clear that since the section applies to a number of different High Courts where different conditions of practice prevail, the word 'practise' has no one particular and invariable meaning in the section, but its meaning must vary according as the section is applied to one High Court or another. In its application to each High Court, it will have the meaning which an Advocate's right to practise bears in that Court at the time under the local rules and regulations. Thus, the meaning may be wider in relation to one High Court and narrower in relation to another and even in relation to the same High Court, it may not always remain the same. For, a High Court may-enlarge the professional rights of its Advocates and if it does so, Advocates of the Supreme Court will thereafter have the enlarged rights in that Court. But at any given point of time, the rights of an Advocate of the Supreme Court to practise in any particular High Court in exercise of the power conferred on him by Section 2, can at most be co-extensive with, but no greater than, the right which Advocates of that Court themselves possess at the time. The right of an Advocate of the Supreme Court to practise in Calcutta High Court at the present moment can, at the most, comprise the right to act and plead on the Appellate Side and the right to plead on the Original Side (though the latter is not free from doubt), but it can in no event include the right to act on the Original Side or appear on that side without the intervention of an attorney. As an Advocate of this Court, the first Petitioner had already the former rights. By becoming an Advocate of the Supreme Court he has acquired no further rights in this Court.

19. The above disposes of the claims of the first Petitioner. The Rule issued by this Court also refers to the right of the second petitioner to be defended in the suit mentioned 'by qualified empowered Counsel of his Choice.' That claim calls for no discussion. Nobody has a fundamental right to have anybody he likes to act for him in a suit in a Court of Law and so far as choice of Counsel is concerned, nobody has tried to interfere with the second petitioner in making any choice he desires to make.

20. For the reasons given above, I would discharge the Rule. But since the question raised is one of professional rights under a new Act of Parliament, I think there ought not to be any order for costs.

Harries, C.J.

21. I agree.

Banerjee, J.

22. I agree.


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