Legal Practitioners Act, 1879

Legal Practitioners Act, 1879

Legal Practitioners Act, 1879

[ACT NO. 18 of 1879]1

29th October, 1879

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to Legal Practitioners.

Preamble

Whereas it is expedient to consolidate and amend the law relating to Legal Practitioners in 2[certain Provinces, and empower the Provincial Government of every other Province to extend thereto] such portions of this Act as such Government may think fit. It is hereby enacted as follows:

1 For the Statement of Objects and Reasons, see Gazette of India, 1878, Pt. V, p. 381: for the Reports of the Select Committee, see ibid, 1879, Pt. V, pp. 51 and 841; for Proceedings in Council, see ibid, 1878, Supplement, pp. 1658 and 1693; ibid, 1879 Supplement, pp. 79, 1066 and 1375.

This Act has been extended to Berar by the Berar Laws Act, 1941 (IV of 1941). It has been declared to be in force in the Angul District by the Angul Laws Regulation, 1936 (V of 1936), sec. 3 and Sch., and also by notification under the Scheduled Districts Act, 1874 (14 of 1874), sec. 3 in the Districts of Hazaribagh, Lohardaga and Manbhum and Pargana Dhalbhum and the Kolhan in the District of Singbhum: see Gaz. of Ind, 1881, Pt. I, p. 504. The District of Lohardaga (now called the Ranchi District, see Calcutta Gazette, 1889, Pt. I, p. 44) included at this time the District of Palamau, which was separated in 1894.

It has also been extended to the new Provinces and merged States by the Merged States (Laws) Act, 1949 (59 of 1949), sec. 3 ( 1-1-1950 ) and to the States of Tripura and Vindhya Pradesh by the Union Territories (Laws) Act, 1950 (30 of 1950), sec. 3 [ 16-4-1950 ].

The Act has been extended to States merged in the States ofโ€” Bombay : see Bom. Act, 4 of 1950, sec. 3 ( 30-3-1950 ). Orissa: see Ori. Act, 4 of 1950, sec. 4 ( 3-3-1950 ). Punjab : see Punj. Act 5 of 1950, sec. 3 ( 15-4-1950 ).:ff

The Act has not been extended to the State of Manipur , vide, Act 30 of 1950, sec. 3 and Sch. as amended by Act 68 of 1956[w.e.f. 1-1-1957 ).

2. Substituted for “the Lower Provinces of Bengal , the ft)rth-Western Provinces, the Punjab , Oudh , the Central Provinces and Assam , and to empower each of the Local Governments of the rest of British India to extend to the territories administered by it”, by A.C.A.O., 1948.

36. Power to frame and publish lists of touts.


1[36. Power to frame and publish lists of touts.-

(1) Every High Court, District Judge, Sessions Judge, District Magistrate and Presidency Magistrate, every Revenue Officer, not being below the rank of a Collector of a district, and the Chief Judge of every Presidency Small Cause Court (each as regards their or his own Court and the Courts, if any, subordinate thereto) may frame and publish lists of persons proved to their or his satisfaction, 2[or to the satisfaction of any subordinate Court as provided in sub-section (2A)] by evidence of general repute or otherwise, habitually to act as touts, and may, from time to time, alter and amend such lists.

2[Explanation.- The passing of a resolution, declaring any person to be or not to be a tout, by a majority of the members present at a meeting, specially convened for the purpose, of an association of persons entitled to practise as legal practitioners in any Court or revenue-office, shall be evidence of the general repute of such person for the purposes of this subsection.]

(2) No person’s name shall be included in any such list until he shall have had an opportunity of showing cause against such inclusion.

2[(2A) Any authority empowered under sub-section (1) to frame and publish a list of touts may send to any Court subordinate to such authority the names of any persons alleged or suspected to be touts, and order that Court to hold an inquiry in regard to such persons; and the subordinate Court shall thereupon hold an inquiry into the conduct of such persons and, after giving each such an opportunity of showing cause as provided in sub-section (2), shall report to the authority which has ordered the inquiry the name of each such person who has been proved to the satisfaction of the subordinate Court to be a tout; and that authority may include the name of any such person in the list of touts framed and published by that authority:

Provided that such authority shall hear any such person who, before his name has been so included, appears before it and desires to be heard.]

(3) A copy of every such list shall be kept hung up in every Court to which the same relates.

(4) The Court or Judge may, by general or special order, exclude from the precincts of the Court any person whose name is included in such list.

(5) Every person whose name is included in any such list shall be deemed to be proclaime as a tout within the meaning of section 13, clause (e), and section 22, clause (d).]

2[(6) Any person who acts as a tout whilst his name is included in any such list shall t punishable with imprisonment which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.]

1. Substituted for the original section by the Legal Practitioners Act, 1896 (11 of 1896), sec. 4.

2. Inserted by the Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Act, 1926 (15 of 1926), sec. 3.

OBJECTS AND REASONS

“Section 36 has been framed to put a stop to what is commonly known as the “touting” system – a system under which certain legal practitioners reward a Mukhtar or other hanger-on of the Court who brings them business by allowing him a percentage on their fees. It is obvious that such a system, besides the degradation it involves to legal practitioners who resort to it as a means of obtaining business, also holds out to the Mukhtar or other go-between a strong temptation to retain for its employer, not the most skilful Pleader he can get for the fee allowed, but the Plead who will pay him the largest commission.

The only objection we have heard to the abolition of this most objectionable system has proceeded from certain Mukhtars, who urge that the commission allowed them by Vakils is not a remuneration for procuring the employment of such Vakils, but a payment for assistance rendered by them to such Vakils by performing certain duties which would in other cases be performed by a Attorney.

The answer to this objection, it appears to us, is that, when the transaction is one bona fide of the nature thus described, the Mukhtar can find no difficulty in agreeing with his employer to receive direct from him any remuneration to which he may be entitled.”-S.C.R.

STATE AMENDMENTS

Madras:I

In section 36-

(a) in sub-section (1), after the words “Sessions Judge”, the words “Subordinate Judge, District Munsif”, shall be inserted, after the words “District Magistrate” the words “Sub-Divisional Magistrate” shall be inserted and after the words “Collector of a district”, the words “the Madras City Civil Court” shall be inserted;

(b) in sub-section (2A), for the words “may send to any Court” the words, brackets, figure and letter “may, of its own motion or on a report from the Committee referred to in sub-section (2-B), send to any Court” shall be substituted;

(c) after sub-section (2-A), the following sub-section shall be inserted, namely :-

“(2-B) (i) There shall be constituted at the Presidency-town of Madras a Committee constituting of seven legal practitioners in active practice appointed by the Chief Judge of the Court of Small Causes, Madras after consulting the Principal Judge of the Madras City Civil Court, the Chief Presidency Magistrate and the representatives of the Advocates’ Association and the Bar Association, Madras.

(ii) There shall be constituted at the Headquarters of each District Judge and at the head-quarters of each taluk comprised within the jurisdiction of a District Judge not being his own headquartes, a Committee consisting of not less than three and not more than five legal practitioners in active practice, appointed by the District Judge after consulting the salaried gazetted Judicial Officers, Civil and Criminal, at such headquarters or having jurisdiction over the taluk in which such headquarters are situated or any part of such taluk:

Provided that the District Judge may constitute such a Committee (i) for any taluk, at any place situated therein other than its headquarters or (ii) for two or more taluks, at any place situated in those taluks. Before making appointments to any such Committee, the District Judge shall consult the salaried gazetted Judicial Officers, Civil and Criminal, at the place of which the Committee is to be constituted, or having jurisdiction over the taluk or taluks for which the Committee is to be constituted or any part thereof.

(ii) Every member of a Committee constituted under clause (i) or clause (ii) shall hold office for a renewable term of three years but may resign his office earlier or may be removed therefrom by the Chief Judge of the Court of Small Causes, Madras, or the District Judge, as the case may be, for sufficient cause recorded in writing. The Chief Judge or District Judge shall, subject to the provisions of clause (i) or clause (ii), as the case may be, have power to fill any vacancy in the Committee arising by resignation, death or removal.

(iv) The Committee constituted at the Presidency-town of Madras shall be consulted in connetion with any action proposed to be taken under sub-section (1) or (2- A) by any Court which, or any Judge, Magistrate or Officer whose Court or Office, is situated at the Presidency town of Madras.

(v) The Committee constituted at the headquarters of any District Judge shall be consulted in connection with any action proposed to be taken under sub-section (1) or (2- A) by any Court which, or any Judge, Magistrate or Officer whose Court or Office is situated at such headquarters and also by any Court, Judge, Magistrate or Officer having jurisdiction over the taluk in which such headquarters are situated or any part of such taluk.

(vi) The Committee constituted at any other place, whether the headquarters of a taluk or not, shall be consulted in connection with any action proposed to be taken under sub-section (1) or (2- A) by any Court, Judge, Magistrate or Officer having jurisdiction over the taluk or taluks for which the Committee has been constituted or any part thereof.

(vii) Any Committee may report the name of any person alleged or suspected to be a tout to any Court which, or any Judge, Magistrate or Officer who, is required to consult it under clause (iv), clause (v) or clause (vi), as the case may be, for such action as such Court, Judge, Magistrate or Officer may deem fit to take under this section.

(viii) Every Committee shall function solely in an advisory capacity and its opinion or report shall not be binding in any way on any Court, Judge, Magistrate or Officer,” and

(d) after sub-section (6), the following sub-section shall be added, namely :-

(7) (a) If the offence referred to in sub-section (6) is alleged to have been committed by any person, the authority by which his name was included in the list of touts shall also be competent, notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, to take cognizance of and try such offence and sentence such person if found guilty.

(b) Any person sentenced under clause (a) by any authority other than the High Court may. notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898, appeal-

(i) in case he is sentenced by a District Munsif or Sub-divisional Magistrate to the authority to which appeals ordinarily lie from decrees, sentences or orders passed by such District Munsif or Sub-divisional Magistrate; and

(ii) in the other cases to the High Court.

(c) The provisions of Chapter XXXI of the Code aforesaid shall, so far as they are applicable, apply to appeals under clause (b) and the appellate authority may alter or reverse the finding or reduce or reverse the sentence appealed against.”- Madras Acts 3 of 1943, sec. 3; 14 of 1944, sec. 2 ( 23-2-1943); 7 of 1948, sec. 3 and Sch. II.

Maharashtra:

In sub-section (1) for the words “District Judge” substitute the following words :

“and District Judge, the Judge of the Bombay City Civil Court or, if the said Court consists of more than one Judge, the principal Judge thereof, every.”-Bom. Act 45 of 1948, sec. 2 ( 18-5-1948).

West Bengal:

After sub-section (6) of section 36, the following sub-sections shall be added, namely : -

“(7) Every person who having been excluded from the precincts of a Court under sub-section (4) enters or is found within the precincts of any Court without written permission from the presiding officer of the Court shall be deemed to be acting as a tout within the meaning of sub-section (6):

Provided that this sub-section shall not apply where such person is a party to any case in the Court or has been directed to appear by any process of the Court.

(8) Any presiding officer of a Court may, by an order in writing, direct any person named in the order to arrest any such tout found within the precincts of the Court. Such tout may be arrested accordingly and shall be forthwith produced before the officer.

If the tout admits his offence the provisions of sections 480 and 481 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, shall be applicable, so far as may be, to his detention, trial and punishment.

If the tout does not admit his offence the provisions of section 482 of the said Code shall be similarly applicable to his detention, trial and punishment.”-Beng. Act 5 of 1942, sec. 7( 1-11-1943).

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