Bar Council objects to inclusion of ‘Lawyers’ under the Consumer Protection Act 2019

On Sunday, Bar Council of Delhi wrote a letter to the Consumers Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan showing dissent towards the contemplation of the Ministry to include the lawyers within the definition of Section 2(1)(o) of the Consumer Protection Act as “The legal Profession is an integral part of justice delivery system and is not a commercial or trade activity and the legal professional cannot be included for any purpose under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 or the Rules as being contemplated.”

Sanjay Rathi, Co-Chairman, Bar Council of Delhi stated that,”This all started with the case Indian Medical Association v. VP Shanta, where the court declared the medical partitioners were subject to the rules and mechanisms of CPA which rose the question, ‘if doctors can be made liable under the CPA, why not lawyers?’

He further states that,”A Lawyer, unlike other professionals, is placed in a very peculiar position while rendering legal services. An architect or a doctor is purely ‘client servicing’ while on the other hand, it is not possible to term the ‘job profile’ of a lawyer as client servicing because lawyers are nothing but the officers of the Hon’ble Court who have a duty to assist the court and not to act as a mouthpiece of the client. The lawyer renders his assistances to his client and nothing more, whereas the doctor-patient relationship is one to one. This places an onerous obligation on the lawyers; on the one hand he has to represent his client to the best of his abilities, and on the other, he has to maintain a far greater degree of detachment than other profession”.

KC Mittal, Chairman, Bar Counicl of Delhi in his letter has stated that,”The legal profession is integral part of justice delivery system and is not a commercial or trade activity and the legal professions cannot be included for any purpose under the Consumer Protection Act,2019 or the rules as is being contemplated”.

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