Intrusion of “Black Sheep” in the legal profession was occasioning the reputation of good lawyers to be in the “verge of fall”: Madras HC in V.K.Kumaresan vs. P.Jayaseelan and others

The Madras High Court, while pronouncing the order in a transfer of proceedings petition, lashed out the petitioner who is an advocate by profession stating that intrusion of “black Sheep” like petitioner in the legal profession causes the good lawyers to be on the verge of fall.

Brief facts:

The petitioner, an advocate rented a premise in Vellore on a monthly rent of Rs.1800. The tenant has defaulted in paying rent since 2010 and moreover has been using the premise as a dumpyard. Hence the land lord requested the tenant to vacate the premises and handover vacant possession. However the tenant refused to do the same. Hence the landlord was forced to initiate rent control proceedings before the court. The court had duly ordered the Rent control petition in favour of the landlord directing the tenant to vacate the premises and further directed the tenant to pay Rs. 1,94,000/- towards the arrears of rent.

The tenant filed an application to stay the execution proceedings on the ground that he had preferred an appeal against the above order. In the meanwhile the landlord had filed an application to recover a sum of Rs. 2,44,800/- towards the arrears of rent payable by the tenant which was also duly ordered. Aggrieved by the said order, the tenant preferred Civil Revision Petition and the same was also disposed of on 11/01/2018 directing the tenant to pay the arrears of rent.

The tenant with an intent to drag the proceedings preferred an appeal against the order passed in Rent Control petition with delay which was also condoned by the court. As a last resort, the tenant had filed the present application to transfer the Rent Control Appeal from Vellore subordinate court by leveling several charges against the Principal subordinate judge. The petitioner had tried his level best to drag the proceedings by filing many change of vakalat both in original proceedings and before the High Court. The petitioner contended that there are no arrears of rent left payable to the landlord and hence he cannot be vacated. The petitioner is also known to act against the advice of his legal counsel due to which an advocate in Madras High Court withdrew his vakalat in the present case.

Key features:

1. The court observed that when the owner of the premises requires it for his own use, the tenant is bound to hand over the same.

2. The court remarked that, advocates like the petitioner in the case in hand has intruded the noble profession like a black sheep thereby casing sufferings to the good lawyers as well.

3. The court further remarked that the legal ethics of the profession requires the lawyer to restrain his client from resorting to unlawful practices. However when an advocate himself resort to such unlawful practice, then he is making mockery of the noble profession.

4. The court observed that in every profession there are certain ethics to be followed failing which would amount to misconduct. In the present case, the act of the petitioner is a clear professional misconduct.

5. The court also observed that the lawyers are already facing severe criticisms among public due to activities of certain advocates. Any act similar to that of the petitioner would further diminish the reputation of lawyers such that the public would hesitate to rent their premises to advocates.

The court while directed the petitioner to vacate the premises within a period of two weeks failing which there is no bar on the landlord to use force. The court further granted a liberty to the landlord to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the advocate before the bar council and observed that lawyers like the petitioners are venom, and should not be allowed to mingle freely in the bar.

Edited by J. Madonna Jephi

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

Reference

T.R.C.M.P no. 942 of 2019, V.K.Kumaresan vs. P.Jayaseelan and others, Madras High Court, order dated 19/02/2020.

Lavanya Narayanan
I am Lavanya Narayanan, pursuing a master's in international law. With three years into the profession, I am currently reviving my long-forgotten passion for writing. As and when I find a time I watch debates and interviews on the current affairs of our nation. My areas of interest are criminal law, women and child rights especially toddlers. I love listening to puranic stories. I believe accepting things you don’t know as you don’t know leads you to the path of growth. Happy reading!