The Bar Council of India (BCI) on Wednesday approached the Delhi High Court challenging its order to process the registration of a South Korean national as a lawyer.
BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra argued that foreign lawyers should not be allowed to practice in the courts here as their entry has been allowed in a limited manner and the order of a single judge rejecting the South Korean citizen’s application for registration to comply is not possible. are maintained.
Mr Mishra also submitted that the bar’s apex body has verified the fact of “reciprocity” of similar permission to practice for Indian nationals in South Korea.
“This will open a floodgate,” he argued, adding that this could later result in lawyers from Pakistan and Nepal entering the country.
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma noted that in the present case, Daeyoung Jung had obtained a law degree from an Indian institution and was not a “foreign lawyer” and that the law allowed him to practice here if Indians were allowed to practice in his country and this aspect was taken into consideration by the Single Judge.
“Speaking for myself, I find nothing wrong in the judgment of the single judge,” said Justice Sanjeev Narula, who was also part of the bench.
Giving BCI six weeks to establish that the guidelines in South Korea do not allow Indians to practice there, the court said: “If the South Korean government says that Indians will be admitted, you have no case .” Earlier this year, the single judge had set aside BCI’s refusal to grant a request by Jung, a citizen of South Korea, to register as a lawyer in the country and ordered the bar’s top brass to grant his request according to the law to deal with.
The single judge had noted that he had obtained a law degree from the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR), Hyderabad, which was duly recognized under the Advocates Act and entitled him to practice law as per law to enrol.
In his ruling, the single judge had stated that under the legal framework of the Advocates Act, a national of another country can also be admitted as a lawyer and that the right to registration of such a foreigner was subject only to the condition that duly qualified Indian citizens were also allowed to practice law in that other country.
The case would be heard again in December.
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