"Advocate Who Happens To Be Tenant Should Be A Gentleman & Vacate Premises Within 30 Days Upon Request By Landlord": Madras High Court
The Madras High Court has recently issued directions to the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Pudducherry to take action against the petitioner / Advocate to proceed further for the Advocate’s misconduct of not complying with the Court’s order to vacate the rented premises within two weeks passed a year ago.
“It is very saddening to note that it is a shame on the part of an Advocate to refuse to vacate the premises when a landlord requires it and the Advocates are referred to as gentleman in the preamble to Chapter-II of the Bar Council of India Rules under Section 49(1)(c) of the Act read with the proviso thereto. In the present case on hand, the petitioner / Tenant has proved himself to be a wicked, dishonest and unprincipled person.”, Single Bench of Justice S.Vaidyanathan noted.
In the present matter, the building of the respondent/landlord, a Doctor was rented to the petitioner /tenant, who was an Advocate by profession on a monthly rent of Rs 1800/-. Due to the petitioner's irregularity in payment of rent and using the premises like a dumping yard, the landlord requested the tenant to vacate the premises. Pursuant to the tenant’s refusal the landlord filed RCOP No.24 of 2010 in addition to filing an interim application in I.A.No.23 of 2015 for recovery of arrears. On 19.02.2020, the Court passed an ex parte order due to the non-appearance of the counsel for the petitioner and directed him to vacate the premises within two weeks. The petitioner irrespective of the order did not comply with the order. Police's help was taken to take possession. The petitioner further filed a petition before this Court under Order 9 Rule 10 & 13 r/w 151 of Civil Procedure Code, 1908 to set aside the exparte order dated 19.02.2020.
The Court observed that the approach clandestinely adopted by the petitioner to defeat the orders was a clear abuse of the Court's process. The petitioner dragged the matter under the pretext of filing a Review Application, to deceive the Court and the landlord. The petitioner till the date of passing the order did not either furnish the application’s SR number or the date on which the same was filed to review the order passed on 19.02.2020.
“Some of the Advocates are nowadays looked at as Rowdies and third rate criminals by the public by the conduct of similar to one of the tenants in this case. It is painful to say that many of the Advocates are involved in the land grabbing. If the antecedent of the petitioner/tenant is verified, he may also be one of the land grabbers. The tenant has scant regard for the orders of the Court. He has portrayed a sadistic attitude.”, the Bench said.
Keeping into consideration that the petitioner/tenant had vacated the premises, the Court issued the following directions :
- Bar Council shall take action against the petitioner/advocate for his misconduct on the complaint. Further directed to conduct the enquiry on a day to day basis in case of issuance of any notice by the Bar Council without adjourning the matter beyond three days at any point in time.
- Bar Council should ensure that the papers are not misplaced since the time limit is fixed under the Advocates Act to contend about elapse of time and not take any action against the petitioner
- To safeguard the reputation of this profession, directed the Registry to send a copy of this order to MHAA, MBA and Women Lawyers' Association to inform the members of the respective Associations that they should not defend a dishonest Tenant, who happens to be a deceitful Advocate
Case Title: V.K.Kumaresan v. P.Jayaseelan
Law Point/Statute Involved: Order 9 Rule 10 & 13 r/w Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure,1908