The plea said the issue is a matter of concern to both the judiciary and the legislature
The Supreme Court today reserved its verdict on a plea seeking to ban legislators from practising as advocates.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud reserved the order after taking note of the Centre’s submission that an MP or an MLA is an elected representative and not a full-time employee of the government.
However, senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for petitioner-lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, told the court that a lawmaker draws a salary from the public exchequer and a salaried employee is debarred by the Bar Council of India from practising in the courts of law.
To this, the bench replied that employment postulates a master-servant relationship and the government of India is not the master of a Member of Parliament.
The top court was hearing the petition which said that while a public servant cannot practice as an advocate, legislators are practising in various courts which was a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.
The plea said the issue is a matter of concern to both the judiciary and the legislature as most of the lawmaker-advocates are involved in active practice of law, despite receiving salaries and other perquisites drawn on the public exchequer.
The petition also pointed out that the lawmakers have the power of voting on the impeachment of judges of the Supreme Court and the high courts.