“An AoR, whom the litigant has never briefed or engaged, has lent his signature for a petty amount”

The Supreme Court has censured Rameshwar Prasad Goyal, Advocate on Record (AoR), for lending his name in filing petitions but not appearing in most of the cases.

A Bench of Justices B.S. Chauhan and S.A. Bobde had issued a show-cause notice to Mr. Goyal asking why his licence as an AoR should not be put under suspension/cancelled “as he never appears in the court and in spite of our request, he refused to come. His conduct amounts to interfering with the administration of justice and results in multiplicity of proceedings.” In his reply, Mr. Goyal tendered an absolute and unconditional apology and gave an undertaking that he would not repeat such a mistake. Disposing of the matter, the Bench said: “The AoR gave many reasons for not appearing in the court but none of them has impressed us and none of them is worth mentioning herein.”

Sorry state of affairs

Writing the judgment, Justice Chauhan said: “A noble profession has been allowed to be converted by this AoR into a profession of cheating. An AoR, whom the litigant has never briefed or engaged, has lent his signature for a petty amount with a clear understanding that he would not take any responsibility for any act in any of the proceedings in the Registry or the court in the matter. The advocate, who has been obliged by such an AoR, must be going inside the Registry in an unauthorised manner and must be appearing in the court directly or engaging a senior advocate without any knowledge/authorisation of the AoR.”

The Bench said an AoR is the source of lawful recognition through whom the litigant is represented and therefore, he cannot deviate from the norms prescribed under the rules. Lawyers must remember that they are equal partners with judges in the administration of justice. If lawyers do not perform their function properly, it would be destructive of democracy and the rule of law.”

The Bench said during the course of hearing Mr. Goyal tendered unconditional apology. The Bench said: “His conduct as AoR has been reprehensible and not worth pardoning but considering the fact and circumstances involved herein, his conduct is censured and we warn him not to behave in future in such manner and to appear in court in all the cases wherever he has entered appearance.”

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