Direction to remove lawyer appearing for a party at the instance of opposite party can only be passed if such removal does not jeopardize the interest of the party for whom lawyer is appearing

Kerala High Court: While deciding upon the issue that whether the lawyer who is appearing for a party can be removed at the request of the opposite party, the Division Bench of A.M. Shaffique and K.Ramakrishnan, JJ., observed that two major conditions must be satisfied in order to direct the removal of a lawyer appearing for a party, they are namely; that the direction to relinquish the ‘vakalath’ by the counsel appearing should not jeopardize the interest of the party for whom he appears, and secondly the examination of the Advocate as a witness is indispensable and that the disengagement would not jeopardize the interest of the party for whom he appears.

In the instant case, the petitioner cited the terms of Rule 6 of the Bar Council of India Rules, and prayed before the Court to prohibit the respondent’s Advocate to appear on behalf of his party for the case because as per Rule 6 if any member thereof is related to the Advocate or comes within the relationships mentioned in the Rule, then such Advocate shall be forbidden to appear on behalf of his party. The petitioner further contended that he intendeds to examine the Advocate of the respondent as a witness.

Perusing the contentions, the Court observed that the petitioner had not mentioned any list citing the respondent Advocate as a witness, and moreover if the counsel is directed to relinquish the ‘vakalath’ it will jeopardize the interest of the respondent. [Kabeer v. Nazrin, 2017 SCC OnLine Ker 41,  decided on 05.01.2017]

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