Prahalad Saran Gupta v. Bar Council of India (AIR 1997 Sc 1338).
Gupta was practicing Advocate at Gaziabad . He was appearing for the decree-hold in an execution case between Atma Ram manak Chand v.Shriram in the Ghaziabad court.
The degree holder has filed a complaint in the State Bar Council against his Advocate (Gupta) alleging the following professional misconduct.
1. He has colluded with the judgement debtor and accepted Rs. 1500 out of the total decreed amount and allowed time for the payment of the remaining balance.
2. The amount so received is not given to the degree holder.
3. He has helped the judgement Debtor to get the execution stayed by the High Court.
4. When he was Acting as a standing counsel for the railways ,he drafted the notice under S.80.C.P.C to be served to the railways on behalf of M/s. Agerwal traders who was the compliment against the Railways. This is a serious professional misconduct. The draft prepared by his own handwriting was produced before the disciplinary committee.
Gupta denied all the allegations and informed that he was holding the amount of Rs.1500 as trustee on behalf of his client. Since the enquiry was not completed within one year the matter was transferred to the Bar Council of India.
The Bar council of India has found the appellant guilty of serious professional misconduct and passed an order suspending him from the practice for a period of one year.
Gupta challenged this order before the Supreme court. The Supreme court passed the following orders.
1. It is not advisable for the Disciplinary Committee to base its conclusion purely on the basis of its own comparison of the hand writing of Gupta with the alleged draft prepared by him. The court held that the charge of professional misconduct is quasi- criminal in nature requires proof beyond reasonable doubt.
2. Addressing a letter to the counsel of the opposite party (judgement debtor) in the execution proceedings amounts to professional misconduct.
3. Holding the money with him which he has received in the execution proceedings without any sufficient reason amounts to professional misconduct.
4. For this misconduct suspending him from practice for 1 year is too much , So the Bar Council of India’s order is set aside and he was reprimanded with strong words.