Bar Council of India was asked about action taken against an advocate for unlawful practice - PIO: In the absence of enrolment number, the relevant State Bar Council where the Advocate is enrolled could not be ascertained; No transfer of RTI application
Information sought and background of the case:
The Appellant filed an RTI application dated 26.10.2018 seeking status of his complaint dated 05.09.2018 on the following points:-
(i) copy of legal action taken against Shri Sandeep Kumar for his unlawful practice.
(ii) whether any person can pursue legal practice without getting registration/legal right. If so, under which law?
(iii) whether Shri Sandeep Kumar is actually an advocate? If so, provide his registration number with date. From which institution he got his law degree. Please provide copy of his law degree along with his roll number.
The CPIO/Assistant Secretary vide letter dated 27.12.2018 stated that the information on point nos. 1 & 2 had already been provided by CPIO, Supreme Court of India. In response to point no. 3, the CPIO/Assistant Secretary stated that the details of Advocates are maintained by the concerned State Bar Councils where the Advocate is enrolled. In the absence of enrollment number Appellant’s RTI query could not be transferred to any State Bar Council.
Dissatisfied with the response received from the CPIO, the Appellant filed a First Appeal dated28.01.2019. The FAA/Asstt. Secretary, Bar Council of India vide order dated 05.03.2019 upheld the reply of the CPIO.
Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied, the Appellant approached the Commission with the instant Second Appeal.
Facts emerging in Course of Hearing:
In order to ensure social distancing and prevent the spread of the pandemic, COVID-19, hearing through video conference was scheduled after giving prior notice to both the parties. Both parties are heard through video conference and reiterate their respective contentions. Respondent once again emphasised that in the absence of particulars about enrolment number of the concerned Advocate, the relevant State Bar Council where the Advocate is enrolled could not be ascertained, and hence the RTI application could not be transferred to any State Bar Council.
Upon hearing the averments of the parties, the Commission finds no infirmity with the reply furnished by the Respondent. The Appellant has not been able to ascertain the necessary particulars like the enrolment number of the Advocate about whom he has complained. Under the circumstances, it is not possible for the PIO, Bar Council of India to take any further action for transferring the matter, without any specific particulars of the lawyer concerned. Accordingly, no further action can be directed in this case.
The appeal is thus disposed off as such.
Y. K. Sinha
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Shri Balwant Singh Yadav v. Bar Council of India in Second Appeal No. CIC/BCOIN/A/2019/118094, Date of Decision: 15.04.2021