Legal Profession In India have been expressly barred from advertising their services through any media whatsoever. The Bar Council of India have framed rules under Section 49(1)(c) of the Advocate Act known as standard of professional conduct and etiquette. These are professional ethics which an advocate enrolled to any Bar Council obliged to follow. It is the duty of every advocate enrolled in any state roll follow these standards. (See also... Duties of an Advocate)

According to Rule 36 of the Bar Council, Advertising for professional work in any manner has been prohibited-

                Which reads as under, " An advocate shall not solicit work or advertise either directly or indirectly whether by circulars, advertisements, touts, personal communications interviews not warranted by personal relations, furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments or procuring his photograph to be published in connection with cases in which he has been engaged or concerned."

     His  signboard or nameplate of stationary should be of reasonable size. The signboard or nameplate or stationary should not indicate that he is or has been President or Member of a Bar Council or of any association or that he has been associated with any person or organization or with any particular cause or matter or that he specializes in any particular type of work that he has been a judge or an Advocate General.

Bar Council of Maharashtra v. M.V. Dabholkar AIR 1976 SC 242.

In this case Justice Krishna Iyer Observed on the idea of advertising of legal services in the following words, " The canons of ethics and property for the legal profession totally taboo conduct by way of soliciting, advertising, scrambling and other obnoxious practices, subtle or clumsy, for betterment of legal business. Law is not trade, briefs no merchandise and to the leaven of commercial competition or procurement should not vulgarize the legal profession.        
               It is the duty of an advocate to fulfill the above mentioned duties to his colleagues. The object of framing this rule is to safeguard the interest of profession itself. Advocacy is and profession and not a business. The restriction put on this profession under the said rule is Constitutional and not violative to Article 19 (1) (g) and Article 21 of the Constitution. Moreover such restrictions are just , fair , and reasonable and not arbitrary, fanciful and evasive. It satisfy the twin test given in Article 14 of Constitution. i.e. the classification is just, fair and reasonable and there is Nexus between the object and classification. The object is to achieve the efficiency of advocates to the legal profession, to safeguard the interest of both advocate as well as public at large and the better administration of Justice for which the legal profession is a partner with the judiciary.

See also..

1) Development of Legal Profession In India

2) Duties of an Advocate

3) Constitutional validity of the contempt of Courts Act, 1971

4) Disqualification and punishments for Professional Misconduct

5) Meaning of Bar and Bench


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