‘We Are Not Here To Hear You Till You Are Satisfied’: Bombay HC Denies To Stay BCMG’s Disciplinary Action

Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday denied to stay the disciplinary proceeding filed by the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa (BCMG) against Advocate Gunratan Sadavarte for alleged misdemeanors.

A division bench comprising of Justice Gautam Patel and Justice Neela Gokhale held that Sadavarte will not be treated differently simply because he is an advocate, adding that the case is politically motivated. Prima facie the bench didn’t find any procedural flaws in the BCMG’s notice.

Advocate Susheel Manchekar has complained that Sadavarte has violated the advocate ethics code by appearing in public settings like as rallies and events while wearing his advocate’s band.

The BCMG sent a notice to Sadavarte on February 7, 2023, advising him of the disciplinary proceedings and directing him to remain present, after which he moved the High Court.

Senior Counsel Milind Sathe informed the division bench that a second complaint filed against Sadavarte had been dismissed . The first complaint, however, would be pursued by the Bar Council.

The bench immediately noted that, while being brought by an advocate, the complaint lacked specificity. Furthermore, while transmitting the complaint to the disciplinary committee, the Bar Council member offered some needless observations.

Nonetheless, the bench stated that it was exceedingly hesitant to supervise the Bar Council and that nothing warranted the court’s intervention.

Appearing for Sadavarte, Advocate Subhash Jha submitted that the complaint has been filed by someone who has nothing to do with him.

“The complainant is in Pune, and I am in this city. This complaint must be dismissed at the threshold.” He went on to say that Section 35 of the Advocates Act specifically addresses client complaints against lawyers.

The division bench was absolutely livid after Jha began making allegations against Bar Council members and sought time citing a technical error.

The bench stated that it would not take over the Bar Council Committee’s jurisdiction simply because the petitioner believed it had political overtones.

“We are not here to hear to you until you are satisfied; we are here to hear to you until WE are satisfied enough to pass an order…In administrative and judicial law, there is no reason to intervene in this process.”

The division bench was inclined to offer some relief in the preliminary remarks against Sadavarte while simultaneously keeping all contentions open.

But, the petitioner’s counsel stated that if no stay is granted, the court may just issue Rule. The bench of Justice Patel issued Rule and expedited the case accordingly.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte