The Supreme Court Tuesday said there were no restrictions on MPs and MLAs practicing law and that Rule 49 was not applicable to law-makers who are not full time salaried employees. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said Bar Council of India rules do not prohibit legislators from practising as lawyers.
The court had earlier in July reserved its order while hearing petitions filed by NGO Public Interest Foundation and Delhi BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, among others.
Appearing for the Centre, Attorney General K K Venugopal had told the court during the hearing that the judiciary cannot get into law-making, which is reserved for the legislature. Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Upadhyay, had told the court that a lawmaker draws a salary from the public exchequer and a salaried employee is debarred by the Bar Council of India from practising in the courts of law.
To this, the bench had replied that employment postulates a master-servant relationship and the government of India is not the master of a Member of Parliament.