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As regards legal practitioners acting and pleading in the East India Company's Courts, it appears that the class of vakils practicing before the Moghul Courts subsequently appeared in the Company's Courts. Bengal Regulation VII of 1793 may be said to have created for the first time a regular legal profession for the Company's Courts. That Regulation. called itself one "for the appointment of vakils or native pleaders in the Courts of Civil Judicature in the Provinces of Bengal. Bihar and Orissa.". It empowered the Sudder Dewanny Adawalt to enrol pleaders for all Company's Courts and to fix the retaining fee for pleaders and also a scale of professional fee based on a percentage of the value of the property. The extraordinary feature of that Regulation was that under it only Muslims and Hindus could be enrolled as pleaders. Then came Bengal Regulation XXVII of 1814 which consolidated the law on the subject. The pleaders were empowered to act as arbitrators and to give legal opinions on payment of fess.

The next important piece of legislation was Bengal Regulation XII of 1833, which modified the provisions of the earlier regulations regarding the selection, appointment and remuneration of these pleaders. It permitted any qualified person of whatever nationality or religion to be enrolled as a pleader of the Sudder Dewanny Adawlat. The Legal Practitioners act, 1 846 (I of 1846) made three important innovations, namely, -

(1) that people of any nationality of religion became eligible to be pleaders and the office was thrown open to all persons duly certificate:

(2) attorneys and barristers enrolled in any of Her Majesty's Courts in India were by sections 3 and 5 respectively, made eligible to plead in the Sudder Courts of the Company subject to the rules of those courts as regards language or otherwise; and

(3) pleaders were allowed to enter into agreements with their clients for their fees for professional services.

By section 4 of the Legal Practitioners act, 1853 (XX of 1853), the barristers and attorneys of the Supreme Courts were permitted to plead in any of the Courts of the Company subordinate to the Sudder Courts subject to all the rules in force in the said subordinate courts as regards language or otherwise. While barristers and attorneys were thus permitted to practise in the Company's Courts, the indigenous Indian legal practitioners were rigorously kept out of the three Supreme Courts.

As regards the legal practitioners, clause 9 of the Letters Patent of 1865 provided as follows:-

"9. And we do hereby authorise and empower the said High Court of Judicature at Fort William in Bengal to approve, admit and enrol such and so many advocates, vakils and attorneys as to the said High Court shall seem meet, and such advocates, vakils and attorneys shall be and are hereby authorised to appear for the suitors of the said High Court, and to plead or to act, or to plead and act for the said suitors, according as the said High Court may, by its rules and directions determine, and subject to such rules and directions."