The Centre has moved the Supreme Court seeking early hearing on a plea that has raised the issue whether foreign lawyers and law firms be allowed to practice in the country.
The Ministry of Law and Justice, in its plea, termed the issue as “an important” and “urgent one” and said that the Bar Council of India (BCI) has framed rules on the subject, but it was waiting for the judgement of the apex court.
It said the civil appeal on the issue was unlikely to be listed in near future and as the matter was of “utmost importance”, it was necessary to be decided at the earliest.
“Since the BCI, a statutory body, has framed rules in this regard, the applicant (Centre) humbly submits that the court may be pleased to decide the instant case and for that aspect the prayer of the applicant for early hearing,” the government said.
It submitted that according to the online case status, the civil appeal has no future date of listing for hearing and prayed for early hearing of the matter.
Earlier, the BCI had moved the Supreme Court against a judgement passed by the Madras High Court in 2012.
The high court had held that the foreign law firms or foreign lawyers cannot practice the profession of law in India either on litigation or non-litigation side, unless they fulfil the requirement of the Advocates Act and the Bar Council of India Rules.
However, it had said that there was no bar either in the Act or the Rules for foreign law firms or foreign lawyers to visit India for a temporary period on a fly-in and fly-out basis, for the purpose of giving legal advice to their clients in India regarding foreign law or their own system of law and on diverse international legal issues.
( Source – PTI )