This article on ‘The Legal Rights of Lawyers in India‘ was written by Shruti Korgaonkar, an intern at Legal Upanishad.
The cornerstones of the Indian judicial system are lawyers and advocates, who are often referred to as court officers. For the court to begin the process of interpreting a statute, advocates are the ones who identify errors in the law. The only person authorised to speak on behalf of a client in a court of law is an advocate.
According to the Advocates Act of 1961, only an advocate has the authority to practise law in a courtroom. This implies that no one may represent a client in court if they have not registered their name with the bar council. Every advocate whose name has been registered with the state bar council is allowed to practise law across the Indian subcontinent, according to Section 2(a) of the 1961 Advocates Act.
Every individual has rights and obligations imposed upon them by the state in which they reside or carry out any activity, company, or employment. Similar to this, the Advocates Act of 1961 outlines an advocate’s obligations as well as their rights.
Every time a person feels that one of his fundamental rights has been violated or that anything has been done to him that is unjust, he goes to court and represents himself so that justice may be served. But as you are aware, in most cases, a person cannot defend himself in court, thus they require an advocate. In this article, we will be talking about the legal rights of lawyers in India, and also the privileges they enjoy as an advocate.
The laws that regulate lawyers or advocates in India:
- The Indian Bar Council is a statutory organization charged with representing and governing the Indian Bar. Different court bars are allowed to operate as a self-governing organizations under the Bar Council of India legislation, which was passed in 1926. This statute grants lawyers the ability to represent clients in court as attorneys.
- The Advocates Act, 1961 – The Indian legal profession is governed by the Advocates Act, 1961. The Indian Parliament approved this statute to establish the rules for legal professionals there. This legislation gives legal practitioners in India the right to professional ethics, admission, practice, discipline, education, and other things.
- The Bar Council of Delhi- The bar council of Delhi is the independent statutory body created by the Parliament and constituted under Advocates Act, 1961. It is empowered by various duties and functions. In Delhi Bar council over 60,000 registered member advocates, making it the largest bar council in India.
Rights and privileges of an advocate
The following rights for an advocate in India are provided and safeguarded under the Advocates Act of 1961:
- Right to Practice (Section 30):
An advocate who is registered with the Bar Council of India is granted the exclusive right to practise law in courts. If an advocate’s name is listed on the Bar Council list, Section 30 of the Advocates Act specifically protects his or her right to practise in any court or tribunal in India. On June 15, 2011, Section 30 of the Advocates Act of 1961 went into effect.
On June 9, 2011, the Indian government published a gazette notification stating that The government’s decision to provide the privilege to an advocate was a significant one. After this section’s implementation, an Indian lawyer can now represent clients before the Supreme Court, the High Court, other subordinate courts, quasi-judicial courts, tribunals, or anybody else who has the legal right to gather evidence.
The freedom to practise in court is also given universal protection under Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution. Every individual has the right to engage in any profession, trade, or business, according to Article 19(1)(g).t section 30 of the Advocates Act of 1961 will take effect on June 15 of that same year.
Praveen Pandey Vs State of Madhya Pradesh
In this case, the court determined that the restriction on an advocate’s ability to practise law constituted a breach of his right under article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution.
- Right to pre-audience:
The right to pre-audience rule is covered under Section 23 of the Advocates Act of 1961. An advocate may view this regulation as a privilege. The right to be heard before someone else is heard. Simply put, the law gives people who are higher up in the hierarchy structure the right to advocate for themselves.
The Attorney General will be the first advocate who can submit his argument first in court before another advocate, by the right to pre-audience.
For instance, in a dispute where the opposing side is represented by a new counsel, the attorney general is standing up for his client. The Attorney General will be heard first in this case. This regulation also conveys a broader idea that an advocate has the right to speak in front of a courtroom audience and to represent his client in front of the legal system.
- Right to freedom of speech and expression:
Unless the advocate breaches the laws and regulations of the court of law, he cannot be silenced while arguing in a courtroom. The right to freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed by Article 19 (1) (a) of the Indian Constitution. All Indian people have access to this basic right. Being an advocate entitles one to use their right to free speech and expression in a court of law.
- Right to enter any court and observe the proceedings:
Any individual who has registered with the bar council of India is permitted to practise in any court or tribunal, according to section 30 of the Advocates Act of 1961. This clause also grants an advocate the right to enter any courtroom and watch the proceedings. Whether or whether he was involved in that case will not be impacted by the point. To observe any live proceedings, an advocate has the right to join the Supreme Court.
- Right against arrest:
The judicial official of the court is referred to as an advocate. The advocates are free from rest requirements under civil cases when they are:
- Visiting the court
- Presidency over his case in court
- Leaving the court
- These are the situations in which an advocate cannot be detained by the police.
- Right to meet accused:
The meeting between the accused and the advocate is crucial for understanding any case more thoroughly or for correctly understanding the act committed by the accused. Therefore, an advocate is granted the right to meet the accused whenever and whenever he chooses. The accused may meet with the attorney even daily. Even in prison, the advocate has the right to speak with the defendant. However, the meeting in jail may only last for a certain amount of time.
Privileges to a lawyer under the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
According to Section 129 of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872, the advocate has the only right to protect the confidentiality of any communications he has with his client. According to this provision, no one may be pressured into disclosing any conversations he has with his lawyer until after he volunteers to testify in court.
These are the legal rights of lawyers in India towards their clients, the court, and society. Obtaining justice is one of a person’s legal rights, and attorneys assist clients in doing so. The Bar Council of India has the authority to grant attorneys the ability to represent clients in court. It is the duty of the advocate to only tack on fair costs from his or her clients to avoid charging customers inexplicable fees. The advocates should be respectful to the client. He must do every effort to bring the client justice. He must provide the customer with adequate advice and take the proper course of action.
- Yash Thakur, Rights of an Advocate under Advocates Act, 1961, Legal Study Material, 24 November 2021, available at: https://legalstudymaterial.com/rights-of-an-advocate/
- RIGHTS OF AN ADVOCATE OR A LAWYER, Writing law, available at: https://www.writinglaw.com/rights-of-advocate/