This is, an appeal from the order of the State Bar Council of Andhra Pradesh dated 13-7-1991 in C.C. No. 21/1990 by which the present' appellant was. found guilty of professional and other misconduct and his name was struck off from the roll of Advocates maintained by the State under Provisions of Section 35(3) (d) of the Advocates Act, 1961. The allegations against the appellant were that Sri Radhakishan, S/o Shankar Singh, was the owner of some, houses in Singavaram Village, Alampur (W), Mahaboobnagar Distt. These houses were submerged in Srisailam Project and ultimately a compensation to the tune of Rs. 2,80,533.40 ps. came to be deposited by the Govt, in Sub-Court, Gadwal. The present appellant had come to be engaged on behalf of the said Radh'akdshan in O.P. No. 1788 of 1984 in which the order of compensation came to be passed. It is claimed by the present respondent that she used to accompany her husband, namely the said Radhakishan, whenever j ; he would meet the present appellant. It is the claim of the complainant that her husband has been missing since 1985 and an advertisement to that effect had been given in local newspapers by her brother-in-law. The amount of the compensation had been sero by the Court to the Canara Bank, Mahaboobnagar Branch, to be deposited into the account of Radhakishan. It was on 18-7-1986. It is further claimed that the present respondent was requesting the appellant to help her and her two sons in getting the amount withdrawn, thereby making it clear that the appellant was aware of the fact that the Radhakishan was mis sing. The appellant promised to help the complainant but avoided doing so on some pretext or the other. Subsequently, the complainant, on enquiries, came to know that the said amount had been, withdrawn from the Bank, on 28-6-1987, supposedly by her husband. Thereafter, the complainant went to the appellant and asked for .the return of the amount and on his refusal sent a notice on 15-2-1990. The notice- came unserved. It is further claimed that all but Rs. 80,533.40 ps. came to be returned to the complainant by the appellant. The remaining amount as well as the interest due on it was refused by the appellant.
The appellant has denied the entire case of the complainant. He has claimed that he does not know the complainant to be the wife of Radhakishan. Mr. Radhakishan was an illiterate -person and therefore with his photograph the account was opened, in Canara Bank at Mahaboobnagar. He also pleaded ignorance about the whereabouts of Radhakishan. He further denied that he forged any documents or withdrew any amount. He has alleged that he came to know that the complainant was not living with her husband since 1994.
On these counter allegations, the Committee of the State Bar Council proceeded to consider the complaint. The complainant never presented herself or any other witness before the Committee. The notices sent to her came unserved. Even before us, the complainant never appeared and therefore this Committee asked the appellant to furnish the present address of the complainant. Thereafter notice of today's meeting came to be sent to her which was duly served as the record would show. In any case it is to be noted that no oral evidence has been led by the complainant in support of her allegations. The Committee of the State Bar Council proceeded to consider the matter on the basis of its own comparison of the alleged thumb impressions of Radhakishan on the original petition u/s 18 of the Land Acquisition Act and the affidavit dated 12-7-1986. The committee came to the conclusion that in spite of the fact that Radhakishan was missing since 1985, his thumb impression came to be affixed to the affidavit dated 12-7-1986 which had been presented by the appellant. The Committee also suggested that it was necessary to hand over the matter for further investigation to the nearest Magistrate or the Police Officer.
We are unable to agree with the reasoning given by the Committee of the State Bar Council for the simple reason that none of the allegations made by the complainant have been supported by substantive evidence. Merely because an advertisement came to be published in a newspaper would not lead us to the conclusion that the said Radhakishan was really missing. We have no witness before us who has deposed to the fact as to under whose authority the said advertisement came to1 be published. We do not have either the original scripts of the advertisement or any one claiming to have given the said, advertisement. Cuttings from newspaper items cannot be made the basis of decisions dealing with lives of professionals. In the absence of any material whatsoever, the State Committee was riot justified in drawing the inference that the newspaper item dated 3-2-1986 about Radhakishan's missing would not have been made unless it was correct. Unfortunately, the State Committee drew another inference which was also uncalled for. It itself proceeded to compare the thumb impressions on the two documents and came to the conclusion that the thumb impression on the affidavit was not of Radhakishan. The further inference that the withdrawal of Rs. 2,79,956.40 ps. on 28-5-1987 by a cheque No. 215003 was also of dubious nature was also not born out by facts. It was also surprising that the State Committee, without any evidence, proceeded to observe that the appellant had managed the complainant and had withheld her appearance before the Committee.
In view of this discussion, we are unable to agree with the view taken by the D.C. of the State Bar Council of Andhra Pradesh.
Another flaw in the proceedings was pointed out to us, namely, that no issues or charges were framed in this case that was the only flaw, in normal course, we would have ourselves framed necessary charges or issues and thereafter proceeded to hear the matter. But in view of the total lack of evidence in support of the allegations, we are left with no other option than to allow the appeal and to set aside the impugned order.
In the result, D.C. Appeal No. 13/1991 filed by the appellant Advocate, Mahaboobnagar, is allowed and the order dated 13-7-1991 passed by the D.C. of the State Bar Council of Andhra Pradesh in C.C. No. 21/1990 removing the name of the appellant from the State Roll of Advocates is hereby set aside. The appellant is hereby found not guilty. No order as to costs.