Mumbai: Commission Rejects Complaint Against Advocate, Cites SC Ruling

Mumbai: Commission Rejects Complaint Against Advocate, Cites SC Ruling

Aggrieved by the advocate’s behaviour, the complainant had approached the commission, stating that she had to undergo a lot of mental stress, due to the alleged behaviour of the advocate.

Pranali LotlikarUpdated: Thursday, July 11, 2024, 02:04 AM IST
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The south Mumbai district’s consumer dispute redressal commission has turned down the complaint filed by a Bhandup-based woman against an advocate towards her alleged deficient services because the Supreme Court has not covered the ‘advocate-client’, relationship under the Consumer-Protection (CP) Act. The commission held that as per the Supreme Court’s decision, the bond shared by an advocate and its client is covered under the “contract of personal service”, hence an advocate cannot be held guilty for providing deficient services towards its client.

Nirmala Sharma, the complainant, had approached advocate Pooja Agarwal in 2015, to file a case of domestic violence and divorce against her estranged husband. As per the order copy Sharma had paid Rs500 and Rs10,000 to advocate Agarwal, towards her consultation and legal charges, respectively.

Accordingly advocate Agarwal was supposed to prepare a draft of her complaint and after finalising the same, was to make it a domestic violence petition against Sharma’s estranged husband.

“The complainant had requested advocate Agarwal, to prepare and send a draft of mutual consent divorce notice. The notice was drafted but with many mistakes and fewer points. The complainant rectified the grammatical mistakes and added more legal points,” reads the complainant’s allegations.

Further, as per the complainant’s allegations, the non rectified notice was sent. “Advocate Agarwal, in August 2015, had sent mutual consent divorce notice to the third party through speed post without correcting mistakes,” the allegation said.

The complainant said that when she took up the matter with advocate Agarwal for further action in the matter, Advocate Agarwal allegedly refused to assist and asked the complainant to file the case on her own. Meanwhile, when the complainant asked her to refund her fees and documents, the advocate allegedly denied the same.

Thus aggrieved by the advocate’s behaviour, the complainant had approached the commission, stating that she had to undergo a lot of mental stress, due to the alleged behaviour of the advocate.

The commission, however, rejected Sharma’s plea. The commission held, “As per the judgmental of Supreme Court, the legal services of advocates come under a contract of personal services and which is excluded from the definition of services. A complaint alleging “deficiency in service” against Advocate practicing Legal Profession would not be maintainable under the CP Act,2019.”

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