Advocates Arena Absolute
By Edrich Miranda
Protagonist of qualitative advocacy may express a tentative sigh of relief with the B.C.I. agreeing in principle to permit foreign advocates appear in India. This is one of the motivating factors that shall act as an impetus to excel in the profession, which had reached its zenith of decay.
In an environment where there isn’t any competition the scope to scintillate is stagnant take the example of municipalities, municipal councils, Municipal Corporations, Railways, Postal Services, Oil Companies, Insurance Companies, Government hospitals etc; they are most mismanaged, least answerable for their inefficiencies , and difficult to deal with, they are synonymous with inefficiency as is apparent from the quantum of litigations and work culture, need not elaborate, statistics speak for itself.
Partial progressive reforms have been tentatively ushered in; but much more, needs to be done, to make India a legal hub for arbitration, litigation, registration and compliance, the scope of work increases, such as international arbitration, international search & registration of IPR, yes we could have advocates, counsels and solicitors, venturing into international compliances of company, commercial laws, cross border execution of orders, judgments etc. most important, as today India deals with a whole lot of companies globally, the respective companies governed by their respective countries laws, of which Indian advocates aren’t well equipped, the permission for foreign advocates to operate in India shall enhance prospects for skilled litigations, much to the advantage of trade, industry, commerce, and of course some individual litigants.
The dispute about foreign advocates and firms practicing or appearing or advising, instructing local advocates or firms has occasionally arisen, wherein The Bombay high court, The Madras high court the Supreme Court of India have expressed their views, the government of India, has also expressed its view; but there is a general misconception that all stake holders were taken into confidence, No that isn’t true, the largest and most vulnerable lobby comprising individual litigants were unrepresented; that apart, trade, industry and commerce weren’t a party to those proceedings before those respective courts, therefore such orders judgments cannot be considered in Rem .
We should welcome healthy competition from within and without; also the proposed eco system should safe guard the interest of Indian advocates and enhance their exposure in International matters, said senior consul, Bhumesh Verma , from Delhi. It is easy to jump about young Indian lawyers getting jobs in international firms, however objectively thinking how many of Indian law students are worthy of getting a job, even in Indian law firms ? Indian legal education system, should come up to international challenges, said Consul Verma. Some leading law firms, when asked for their views, did not respond. Professor Monga, assocated with Arka Jain University, Indore, endorses the move by the BCI.Today we are in the era of global economy, the international field is expanding, Indians have started going abroad, London, Singapore, USA various countries, we also need to globally open; we cannot say that we will restrict foreign advocates. I think it is a welcome step, and I complement the BCI for taking this bold step, other countries will also reciprocate, by allowing Indian lawyers to appear in their countries, said Ramesh Prabhu, of Prabhu Associates, Andheri, Mumbai; but one of his junior Associates, Ms Pooja Singh, a L.L.M. product of Lords Universal College of Law, Goregoan, Mumbai, expressed an adverse view, saying, what happens to the highly educated Indian advocates? Professor Suneez Pant, pursuing a doctorate in law, earlier associated with MATS Law School, Raipur Chhattisgarh, says the move by BCI is to be applauded, as it opens the gateway for foreign law degree holders to practice, though limited. Foreign law firms, are better equipped to handle international arbitration, and other commercial disputes, she said. Prashant Narawade student of Oriental Law College, New Mumbai, is of the view, such permission is best for M&A’s and technology transfer, which will promote growth of industrialization. They may face difficulties at subordinate courts, said he. Bhavna Belgudkar, a litigant from Nagpur, has mixed view, happy about the elevation of standards of advocacy; but sad about the horde of Indian advocates left in a lurch.
Another myth needs to be urgently demolished, “That people possessing Doctorates, Masters, Bachelors, Diplomas and Certificates” qualify for a particular post. There are people without those qualifications; but perform even better; had occasion just yesterday, to read one of the many job advertisements on someone’s Watts App status, which of course was forwards a number of times, it was an advertisement by a Government Company, to engage advocates, from only NLU’s (National Law Universities); then it does not occur to anyone, about the discrimination? From the aforesaid one can safely conclude, all that glitters is not Gold; and one can’t have the cake and eat it. Time to tighten up your belts, learned friends.
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