25 October, 2020

‘Magistrate Has No Way To Distinguish An Incompetent Lawyer From A Fraud’

Senior advocate Rebecca John explains how lawyers without degrees have infiltrated the system and holding it hostage...

Photograph by Jitender Gupta
‘Magistrate Has No Way To Distinguish An Incompetent Lawyer From A Fraud’

Lawyers without degrees and those with questionable enrolments have infiltra­ted the system and are holding it hostage. With more than three decades of experience spanning high-profile trials and appeals to the high courts and the Supreme Court, senior advocate Rebecca John explains to Ushinor Majumdar what is at stake, elaborating that genuine lawyers also need to act in the tradition of the profession. Excerpts:

Why have fake lawyers in the system gone unchecked?

In India, we have fake degrees in other professions, such as medicine, too. I have seen cases where someone else appears at the medical examination in place of the candidate. Unfortunately, most of these disciplines have regulatory bodies—Bar Council, Medical Council and so on. Obviously the regulatory bodies have failed; else they would have weeded out the people without degrees or with fake degrees.

How far has the problem penetrated?

The debate is incomplete unless you look at two sets of people. One...



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