Ajitsinh Arjunsinh Gohil vs Bar Council of Gujarat - Supreme Court
Ajitsinh Arjunsinh Gohil vs Bar Council of Gujarat - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2017 -
On 6th April, 2017, in the case of Ajitsinh Arjunsinh Gohil vs. Bar Council of Gujarat and Anr. [Civil Appeal No. 8307 of 2015], the issue for consideration was whether after transfer of a disciplinary proceeding, as per the mandate enshrined under Section 36B(1) of the Advocates Act, 1961 to the Bar Council of India (BCI) from the State Bar Council, can the BCI, instead of enquiring into the complaint and adjudicating thereon, send it back to the State Bar Council with the direction to decide the controversy within a stipulated time.
Reading the language employed under Section 36B(1) and Section 36 of the Advocates Act, 1961 in juxtaposition, the Supreme Court held that “the legislature desired that the disciplinary proceedings are to be put an end to within a particular time frame by the State Bar Council and if that is not done, the whole thing gets transferred to the BCI, which is obliged to cause an enquiry. Thus understood, there can be no trace of doubt that the original jurisdiction to deal with the complaint stands transferred to the BCI. Once the original jurisdiction is transferred, to rely upon the language that the BCI may dispose of would include any manner of disposal which would include a remand, cannot be thought of. That is neither the legislative intendment nor the legislative purpose.” It was held that the legislature “never intended a complaint made against an Advocate either from the perspective of the complainant or from the delinquent to be transferred to BCI, again to be sent back.”
However, the Supreme Court also observed that on many occasions, the disciplinary authority of the State Bar Council was not disposing of the complaint within the stipulated period, “as a consequence of which the proceeding stands transferred to the BCI”, and accordingly the State Bar Councils were asked to “take a periodical stock of cases in each meeting with regard to the progress of the Disciplinary Committee, find out the cause of delay and guide themselves to act with expediency so that the Council, as a statutory body, does its duty as commanded under the Act.”