Rajendra V.Pai Vs Alex Fernandes and other ( 2002)4 SCC.212.
There were about 150 villagers Whose lands were acquired by the Government for the public purposes. The appellant was an advocate and also Personally interested in defending against the proposed of acquisition of the land belonging to his family and members. The villages on their own confined in appellant to contest the land acquisition proceedings for reasonable and fair quantum of compensation for the land acquisition.
Three complainants out of 150 complaints filed complaint against appellant for professional misconduct that appellant Solicited professional work from the villages and appellant settled contingent fee depending on the quantum of the composition awarded to the claimants, It is also alleged that the appellant identified some claimants in opening a bank account is were in the cheque for awarded amount of compensation was lodged. It is also alleged that the amount of compensation was withdrawn on false identification.
Defence of the appellant
The appellant contended that the villagers had voluntarily confined in Him because he was an advocate and was also looking after litigation relating to his family land. The appellant also contented that that villager had volunteered agreed to contribute the expenses of litigation . The charges of false identification was denied by the appellant.
Decision of disciplinary committee of state bar council -
The appellant, an Advocate on the role of Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa found guilty of professional misconduct u/s . 35 of Advocate act and directed that the name of the appellant be removed from the role of advocates. The substance of allegation found proved that Apple and solicited professional work from villages and Settled contingent fee of compensation it is also proved that the amount was withdrawn on false identification.
Appeal to Bar Council of India -
Disciplinary committee of Bar Council of India confirm the order passed by the state bar council debarring the appellant practicing for life.
Appeal to Supreme Court -
The appellant filed this appeal under section 38 to Supreme Court .
Whether order passed by State Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa and Bar Council of India is valid? Whether the punishment is according to the gravity of professional misconduct?
Supreme Court held itthat there was sufficient oral and documentary evidence on record and there is gross professional misconduct. But the punishment is disproportionate in the totality of facts and circumstances of the case. The court has interfere with the quantum of punishment and modified it by suspending the appellant from practice for a period of 7 years.