CHENNAI:The Tamil Nadu State Bar Council informed the Madras High Court that it would place before it a mechanism to prevent unauthorised use of ‘advocate’ stickers on vehicles that do not belong to lawyers.
Recording the submission, the first Bench comprising Chief Justice SK Kaul and Justice TS Sivagnanam said, “The tendency to use the stickers of advocate arises from the perception as if it is a cure for breaking law, which certainly cannot be the objective.”
The Bench made the observation while passing interim orders on a petition filed by advocate V Ramesh who wanted the court to direct the chairman, Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to frame appropriate guidelines for enrolling as advocates law graduates from other states willing to practice in Tamil Nadu.
The petitioner also wanted the court to direct the Bar Council to verify and remove ‘Advocate’ stickers found on vehicles and at the premises of individuals who were not practicing lawyers.
When the petition came up for hearing the Bench said, “Advocates are officers of the court and the primary purpose of the stickers is for access of vehicle to the designated parking lot. The sticker can hardly be a license to break the law, including traffic rules or not wearing helmets or, for that matter, breach of any other law. All are equal before law and so police are entitled to proceed in accordance with law.”
While hearing the petitioner’s plea for action against bogus law degrees, the Bench said, “If law degrees are obtained through dubious means, the very edifice of the system will shake. There is also a necessity to do periodic surprise checks to verify the ground realities.”
The judges directed the State Bar Council to conduct surprise checks to verify the realities.