BENGALURU: The High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to nine advocates who turned peoples’ representatives, including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Union Law Minister Sadananda Gowda, for continuing to draw salary or remuneration without surrendering their ‘sanad’ (licence) of practice to the Karnataka State Bar Council.
Justice H Billappa also issued a notice to ministers T B Jayachandra, R V Deshpande, H K Patil, former chief minister M Veerappa Moily, Lok Sabha member Mallikarjun Kharge, V S Ugrappa, MLC and former Law minister Suresh Kumar.
The notice was issued in response to the criminal petition filed by the Anti Corruption Council of India Trust, Chairman Hussain Mueen Farooq and its member Rudrappa. They challenged the January 8, 2016, order of the Lokayukta Special Court which dismissed the private complaint lodged by the petitioners.
The petitioners contended that the Lokayukta Special Court had observed that the respondents received salaries and perks illegally but did not apply its judicial mind and dismissed the complaint.
The complainants said the accused had violated Rule 49 of the Bar Council of India Rules under the Advocates’ Act, 1961. They submitted that the accused have been illegally drawing salaries and availing other perks for the last 30 years.
All the accused, who are advocates enrolled with the Karnataka State Bar Council and elected as representatives or nominated to Parliament or the Karnataka Legislative Assembly or Council are violating the rules.
The petitioners requested the court to take cognizance of the offences and to prosecute and punish the accused for having committed the offence punishable under the provisions of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.
“An advocate shall not be a full-time salaried employee of any person, government, firm, corporation or concern, so long as he continues to practise, and shall, on taking up any such employment, intimate the fact to the Bar Council on whose roll his name appears and shall thereupon cease to practise as an advocate so long as he continues in such employment,” the complainants quoted the rules as saying.
The petitioners claimed that all the respondents are advocates practicing at various places and they have violated Section 14 of the Karnataka Ministers Salaries and Allowances Act, 1956, by engaging themselves on a full time salaries employment of the government enjoying all remuneration without surrendering their ‘sannad’ which was mandatory and not optional.