Mumbai: Commission Rejects Complaint Against Advocate, Citing Exclusion From Consumer Protection Act

Mumbai: Commission Rejects Complaint Against Advocate, Citing Exclusion From Consumer Protection 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.

Pranali LotlikarUpdated: Tuesday, July 09, 2024, 01:36 AM IST
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Mumbai: Commission Rejects Complaint Against Advocate, Citing Exclusion From Consumer Protection Act | Representational Image

Mumbai: 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, on the grounds that 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 Rs 500 and Rs 10,000 to advocate Agarwal, towards her consultation and legal charges, respectively.

Accordingly advocate Agarwal was supposed to prepare draft of her complaint and after finalising the same, was to make it into 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 less points. The complainant rectified grammatical mistake and added some 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 says.

The complainant said, when she took up the matter with advocate Agarwal for initiating with further action in the matter, Advocate Agarwal, allegedly had refused to assist he, rather asked the complainant to file the case on her own. Meanwhile when the complainant had asked for her to refund her fees and her documents, the advocate, allegedly had 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 abovesaid judgmental of Supreme court, the legal services of advocates comes under contract of personal services and which is excluded from 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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