SC dismisses plea seeking ban lawmakers from practising as lawyers

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea seeking ban lawmakers from practising as advocates, saying that the Bar Council of India rules do not prohibit them.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said that Rule 49 of the Bar Council of India Rules is applicable only to full-time salaried employees, and does not cover legislators within its ambit.

On July 9, the bench reserved the order on the PIL filed by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhyay.

The PIL sought to bar MPs, MLAs and MLCs from practising in courts during their tenure in legislature which was a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution that grants equality before law.

Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Upadhyay told the court that a lawmaker draws a salary from the public exchequer and a salaried employee is debarred by the Bar Council of India from practising in the courts of law.

To this, the bench replied that employment postulates a master-servant relationship and the government of India is not the master of a Member of Parliament.

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