SC raises the bar, says priests and nuns can practice law

September 15, 2017 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india

New Delhi, September 15, 2017: Christian priests and nuns can don the lawyers’ robe now. The Supreme Court has upheld a Kerala High Court verdict that legally qualified Christian priests and nuns to practice as lawyers. Rejecting a Bar Council of India appeal against the High Court ruling, the SC judges said there were no objections to priests and nuns pursuing the legal profession. The bar story Kerala Bar Council in 2004 declined to enroll Catholic priest Fr Thomas Puthussery and Sisters Tina Jose and Council in 2004 declined to enroll Catholic priest Fr Thomas Puthussery and Sisters Tina Jose and M. Tessy. The council, quoting section 2 (H) of the Kerala Bar Council regulations and section 24 of the Advocates Act, argued that priests and nuns came under the category of employed people and hence they cannot be allowed to work as lawyers.

All three of them filed writ petitions in the High Court. The bar council argued that if clergymen and nuns were allowed to practice law, people in other professions would also have to be considered. The HC did not accept that argument and on November 11, 2005, annulled the bar council decision.

The BCI then proceeded with a writ appeal, which was dismissed. However, in the ruling of March 3, 2006, the bench made it clear that clergymen and nuns who are employed full-time with a salary are noare not allowed to practice law.

– manorama online

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