The Delhi High Court Quashed an FIR against an intern who appeared as a proxy counsel.
The petitioner, who is a first year Law student, had instructions of an advocate Ms. Chandni for appearing in court and taking adjournment in two cases.
When she presented herself before the Metropolitan Magistrate and was asked certain questions regarding the matter, she was silent as she was instructed only to take adjournments and was unaware of the case.
Besides it is alleged by the petitioner that she is a Hindi medium student and does not have any knowledge of the technical legal terminology and therefore, could not comprehend as to what was being queried by the Metropolitan Magistrate.
Not receiving a proper response from the petitioner, the Metropolitan Magistrate took her into court custody and she was later relieved in the evening from the custody of the court. The Metropolitan Magistrate took cognizance against the petitioner under Section 177/179 IPC.
On enquiry by the Secretary, Dwarka Bar Association appeared in person in Court and the petitioner apprised that she was just a first year Law student.
At that point one Ms. Anisha also appeared in Court and submitted that the petitioner was attached to her as an intern and was instructed to appear before the Court and seek dates.
Subsequent to further disclosure of facts, the Metropolitan Magistrate observed that the petitioner was furnishing false information and impersonating herself to be a proxy counsel before the Court and therefore, proceeded against her for offence under Section 177/179 IPC.
A perusal of FIR also reveals that the petitioner had impersonated as an advocate and appropriate steps to be taken against her and an FIR was registered against her under Sections 419/209 IPC.
The Single judge bench of Justice Anish Dayal observed that the issue was amplified disproportionately before the Metropolitan Magistrate, particularly, keeping in mind that even Metropolitan Magistrate has recorded that the petitioner had fairly disclosed that was a first year LLB student and also had been supported by Ms.Anisha, Advocate who had stated that she had also instructed her to take dates.
The court noted that the petitioner was either confused or was unable to handle the situation which presented before her.
It said that it is evident that a law student should not appear as a proxy counsel or counsel in any matter before any court of law, prior to being properly enrolled by a Bar Council and being admitted to the Bar.
It was observed by the court that the petitioner has also additionally filed an undertaking by way of an affidavit on the directions of the Court during the course of the day thereby undertaking that she “shall never appear before any Court as proxy/ counsel / an advocate till I have got enrolled with Bar Council” and “I am accepting my mistake and regretting my mistake for appearing before learned Court and this undertaking may also be treated as my unconditional apology to BCI, BCD and all Court Associations”.
The court held that there is no purpose served for proceedings in this FIR to continue and the matter being proceeded further pursuant to the orders of the learned Metropolitan Magistrate.
Case title: Shweta v/s GNCTD and Anr.
Citation: CRL.M.C. 6497/2022 & CRL.M.A. 25286/2022