Kerala HC says Courts can disengage counsel on the request of other party only if it does not jeopardize client’s intere
In Kabeer vs. Nazrin, the Kerala High Court held that a court can ask an advocate to relinquish his vakkalath on the request of an opposite party only if it finds that an examination of the advocate as witness is indispensable and would not jeopardize in the interest of the party for whom the advocate appears.
This observation was made by the Court while considering a challenge to family court order, which rejected an application by a party seeking removal of the counsel appearing on behalf of the other party, on the ground that the counsel is a relative of the other party and that he intends to examine the counsel as witness.
The court referred to the decision in Abdhu v. Veeravu, wherein a bench comprising of Justice AM Shafique and Justice K Ramakrishnan observed two conditions that should be complied with for directing an advocate to relinquish his vakkalath:
- The court should form an opinion that the disengagement of the advocate from the case would not jeopardize the interest of the party for whom the advocate appears,
- If the court or the authority finds that an examination of the advocate as a witness is indispensable and therefore, disengagement of the advocate from the case would not jeopardize the interest of the party for whom he appear.
The court upheld that the observations made by family court in the instant case, the counsel are not a material witness and hence, there is no necessity to examine him.
The decision of the court is very reasonable in cases where there is no good witness for a party other than the lawyer and as a result they tend to lose the case. At the end of the day a lawyer is also part of common crowd and may witness something substantial which may help a party in their case.
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