Advocate ‘s Role and Ethical Standards

Advocates, who are to be identified in terms of Indian Advocate Act are duly recognized as part and parcel of the court and having such kind of recognition, they are expected apart from representing the case of their clients, to assist the court in proper way to arrive at the truth.

See Also : Dinbandhu Singh Vs. State of Bihar [Patna High Court, 25-11-2016]

In O.P. Sharma v. High Court of P&H, (2011) 6 SCC 86 Apex Court has made following observations in paras 37 to 39 relating to ethical standards in the judicial system, and the same are reproduced as under: (SCC p. 101)

  • A court, be that of a Magistrate or the Supreme Court is sacrosanct. The integrity and sanctity of an institution which has bestowed upon itself the responsibility of dispensing justice is ought to be maintained. All the functionaries, be it advocates, Judges and the rest of the staff ought to act in accordance with morals and ethics.
  • An advocate ‘s duty is as important as that of a Judge. Advocates have a large responsibility towards the society. A client’s relationship with his/her advocate is underlined by utmost trust. An advocate is expected to act with utmost sincerity and respect.
  • In all professional functions, an advocate should be diligent and his conduct should also be diligent and should conform to the requirements of the law by which an advocate plays a vital role in the preservation of society and justice system. An advocate is under an obligation to uphold the rule of law and ensure that the public justice system is enabled to function at its full potential.
  • Any violation of the principles of professional ethics by an advocate is unfortunate and unacceptable. Ignoring even a minor violation/misconduct militates against the fundamental foundation of the public justice system.
  • An advocate should be dignified in his dealings to the court, to his fellow lawyers and to the litigants. He should have integrity in abundance and should never do anything that erodes his credibility. An advocate has a duty to enlighten and encourage the juniors in the profession.
  • An ideal advocate should believe that the legal profession has an element of service also and associates with legal service activities. Most importantly, he should faithfully abide by the standards of professional conduct and etiquette prescribed by the Bar Council of India in Chapter II, Part VI of the Bar Council of India Rules.

In Dhanraj Singh Choudhary v. Nathulal Vishwakarma, (2012) 1 SCC 741 discussing the nobility of the profession of lawyers, this Court has made following observations: (SCC p. 747, para 25)

  • Any compromise with the law‟s nobility as a profession is bound to affect the faith of the people in the rule of law and, therefore, unprofessional conduct by an advocate has to be viewed seriously. A person practising law has an obligation to maintain probity and high standard of professional ethics and morality.”

The Bar Council of India Rules, 1975 Part-VI, Chapter-II provide for a “Standard Of Professional Conduct And Etiquette” to be observed by all the Advocates under the Advocate Act, 1961 and for better appreciation the same is quoted below:-

  • An advocate shall, at all times, comport himself in a manner befitting his status as an officer of the Court, a privileged member of the community, and a gentleman, bearing in mind that what may be lawful and moral for a person who is not a member of the Bar, or for a member of the Bar in his non-professional capacity may still be improper for an advocate.
  • Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing obligation, an advocate shall fearlessly uphold the interests of his client and in his conduct conform to the rules hereinafter mentioned both in letter and in spirit.
  • The rules hereinafter mentioned contain canons of conduct and etiquette adopted as general guides; yet the specific mention thereof shall not be construed as a denial of the existence of others equally imperative though not specifically mentioned.

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