This is an appeal against the order of State Bar Council wherein the appellant was suspended for a period of six months from practice.
Brief facts of the case are that the respondent paid a sum of Rs.10,000/- on .16-5-1981 and Rs. 60,000/- on 4-10-1981 to Rao and Raju Builders Pvt." Ltd., Hyderabad. This amount was paid to construct a three bed room house on the plot allotted to the complainant.
As the said Builders failed to construct the house, the respondent met P.S. Rao Managing Director of Rao and Raju Builders Pvt. Ltd. to settle the matter amicably. The said P.S. Rao suggested to the respondent to approach the appellant A practicing Advocate at Hyderabad to seek his advice. The respondent met him in March, 1984 and then appellant advised him to file a suit for recovery of amount from M/s Rao and Raju Builders Pvt. Ltd. The respondent paid Rs. 5,000/- to the appellant for filing the said recovery suit and the appellant obtained his signatures of the plaint prepared by him, That thereafter the respondent asked his brother-in-law to pursue the matter who was also G.P.A. holder of the respondent. The respondent's brother-in law time the appellant in July, 1991 and enquired about the case. The respondent told high that it was still at S.R. stage and yet to be numbered. The respondent on 4th September, 1991 set a Regd. letter along with a draft of Rs.400/- to the appellant for taking necessary steps so that the matter may be taken up before f the City Civil Court, Hyderabad. The appellant did not send any reply and another Regd. letter was sent to him on 18-12-1991 since no reply was also sent by the appellant, the respondent filed a case against "the appellant, for professional misconduct as he failed to fill the suit of the respondent inspite of having received the amount of fee.
On the complaint of the respondent the appellant was issued show case notice arise the appellant submitted his reply wherein he^ admitted the fact that the respondent had approached him for Vol. 25 (I) 199.8 consultation but in view, of the fact that the appellant was approached by Mr. P.S. Rap one of Directors of Rao and Raju Builders Pvt. Ltd., expressed his inability to prosecute-the matter and gave friendly advice for .instituting at case against the firm. Rest of the allegations have been denied. He also stated that after receiving the demand draft for Rs. 400/- he returned the same on 19-9-1991 and he never encashed the said draft of Rs. 400/-. The appellant, therefore, did not accept the brief of the respondent and as such he was not guilty of any professional misconduct.,
On the pleadings of the parties following issues were framed:-1. Whether it is a fact that the complainant paid a sum of Rs. 500/- to the respondent to file a suit to recover the amounts due to him from Rao and Raju Builders, Abids, Hyderabad?
2. Whether the complainant sent a D.D. for Rs. 400/- again by Regd. Post on 4-9-1991 to the Respondent asking him to take all steps necessary for the case entrusted by him?
3. Whether the respondent took any steps in respect of the case entrusted by the complainant to him?
4. Whether the respondent is guilty of any professional misconduct?
5. To what relief?
The respondent examined three witnesses in support of his case, whereas the appellant has examined himself. Documents were also exhibited as C-l to C-5 and R-l to.R-2. The Disciplinary Committee of the State Bar Council on the basis of the evidence on record and documents decided first three issues against the appellant, and held the appellant guilty of professional misconduct and passed the impugned order, hence this appeal.
We have heard the arguments of the appellant and counsel for the respondent and have gone through the record. The appellant has argued that there was contradiction in the statement of the complainant and other witnesses in respect of his meeting in March, 1984 and about signing the plaint. The respondent in his statement has admitted that after filing the case in 1984 there was no written communication between him and the appellant, till 4-9-1991. There was also no proof of the payment of Rs. 5,000/- as alleged in the complaint which was paid to the appellant. Similarly CW-2 and CW-3 do not support the assertion of the respondent in respect of the signing the plaint and making the payment. He further argued that suit was filed by one Bhagwan Dass Sharma, Advocate on 7-6-1984 and he was representing the respondent in the said suit and instead of approaching the said advocate a false and concocted complaint has been filed against the appellant with malafide intention. So far as draft of Rs.400/- is concerned he had exhibited a letter dated 19-9-1991 that he sent the draft back to the respondent as he was not concerned with the case. He also challenged the impugned order on the ground that the respondent as per his own statement never made any diligent attempt from November, 1983 to October, 1991 to find out the fate of the suit. This itself shows that appellant was not at all interested with the matter in view of the above discrepancies and contradictions in the statement as well as no proof of Rs. 5,000/-. The respondent has miserably failed to prove his case against the appellant for professional misconduct.
On the other hand the counsel for respondent has vehemently-argued that the respondent has produced sufficient, evidence oral and documentary to prove his case against the appellant. He argued that the statements of the witnesses fully corroborate the fact of engaging the appellant by the respondent as his counsel and payment of Rs. 5,000/- but in spite of the same the appellant was negligent in not filing the case and replying to the letters sent to him by Regd. Post asking him to expedite the case filed by the respondent. The letter of 19-91991 which is Exbt. as R-l was not at all received By the appellant. He argued that the letter is an after thought as it is unexpected of a lawyer who has received a registered letter from a client specially asking about the progress of the case and sending a draft of Rs. 400/- towards expenses would reply by an ordinary post without any proof of its being posted. No proof of the posting of the said letter has been furnished by the appellant, the letter now Exbt. R-l is an afterthought cannot be taken, into consideration. Moreover the appellant has not denied that the respondent approached him for filing a. case and the statement of CW-3 P.S. Rao who is one of the Directors of the company M/s Rao and Raju Pvt. Ltd., who advised the respondent to go to the appellant for filing the case has appealed as a witness and corroborated the statement of the respondent and his evidence which is of independent in nature could not be brushed aside, therefore the respondent has fully proved his case against the appellant for professional misconduct.
We have given a careful consideration to the arguments of both the parties arid are of the opinion that the appellant was engaged by the respondent as his counsel and was paid Rs. 5,000/- towards the fees and inspite of having received the payment he neglected and failed to file the case on behalf of the respondent, We are not inclined to accept the plea of the appellant that he sent a letter on 19-9-1991 that he was .never a counsel for the respondent and has sent back the draft of Rs. 400/- as no proof of posting said letter has been filed before us.
We therefore find that the appellant is guilty of professional misconduct and we see no reason to disagree with the finding of the State Bar Council suspending the appellant for a period of six months from practice.-
In view of the above we dismiss the appeal and uphold the order of State Bar council.