The Bar Council of India (BCI) Wednesday approached the Delhi High Court against a direction to it to process the enrolment of a South Korean national as an advocate.
BCI chairman senior advocate Manan Kumar Mishra argued that foreign lawyers are not allowed to practice in courts here as their entry has been permitted in a limited manner and the order of a single judge setting aside its refusal to allow the South Korean citizen’s request for enrolment cannot be sustained.
Mr Mishra also submitted that the apex bar body has verify the factum of “reciprocity” of similar permission to practice for Indian nationals in South Korea.
“This will open a floodgate,” he argued, adding that this is may later result in the entry of lawyers from Pakistan and Nepal into the country.
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma observed that Daeyoung Jung in the instant case held a law degree from an Indian institute and was not a “foreign lawyer” and the law permitted him to practice here if Indians were allowed to practice in his country and this aspect has been considered by the single judge.
“Speaking for myself, I dont find anything wrong in the single judge’s order,” Justice Sanjeev Narula, also part of the bench, said.
Granting 6 weeks’ time to BCI to establish that the guidelines in South Korea do not permit Indians to practice there, the court said, “If the South Korean government says Indians will be allowed, you have no case.” Earlier this year, the single judge had set aside BCI’s refusal to accept a request by Jung, a citizen of South Korea, to enrol himself as an advocate in the country and directed the apex bar body to process his application as per law.
The singe judge had observed that he held a law degree from National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) in Hyderabad, which was duly recognised under the Advocates Act and entitled him to seek enrolment under the law.
In its order, the single judge had stated that as per the legal framework under the Advocates Act, a national of any other country may also be admitted as an advocate and the right of enrolment of such a foreign national was subject only to the condition that duly qualified Indian citizens were also permitted to practice law in that other country.
The matter would be heard next in December.
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