The Calcutta High Court has held that only Advocates enrolled under Advocates Actare authorised to plead and argue on behalf of litigants before a court of law.
Radha Nath Nandy, who appeared in person, contended that he is the constituted attorney of the defendant in a Testamentary suit and has been authorized to act and argue, including signing affidavits, applications, etc as a “recognized agent” under Chapter I of the Original Side Rules of the Calcutta High Court.
Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya referred to Section 2(15) of the CPC, Order III Rule 1 and 2 of the CPC, Chapter I, Rules 1 and 5 of The Original Side Rules, sections 8 and 29 of The Advocates Act, 1961 and observed:
“On a conjoint reading of the aforesaid provisions, three propositions emerge; first, Order III Rule 1 specifically excludes the expression “plead” from the purview of “appearing” or “acting”. The expression plead, on the other hand, arises from the definition of “Pleader” under section 2 (15) of the CPC. Second, advocates, vakils and attorneys of a High Court have been specifically included in the class of those who are entitled to plead for another before a court. Third, “pleading” as an exclusive domain has been formalized under Chapter I Rule 1 (i) (a) of the Original Side Rules which has specifically excluded “pleading” from “acting”. Rule 6 lays down the procedure by which a party can be entitled to act and plead for another.”
The court also observed that acting and appearing for another will not include a right to plead or argue before a court of law.
“It is clear from the decisions as well as the relevant statutes and Rules, that a special class of persons, namely, Advocates enrolled under The Advocates Act, 1961, have been authorised to plead and argue before a court of law. It should further be noted that the “special reason” of permitting “any other person” under Rule 5 of chapter 1 of The Original Side Rules relate only to appearance and not pleading. This is in consonance with Rule 1 (i) (a) which specifically mentions various acts which a person authorized or a recognized agent can do “other than pleading”.”
The court then dismissed the application filed by Radhanath Nandy.