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The Bangalore South Lok Sabha MP appeared before the Karnataka High Court on behalf of depositors of an ailing Bank. Read our conversation with Tejasvi Surya.
On Friday, June 12, the Karnataka High Court saw an appearance from Lok Sabha MP from South Bangalore Tejasvi Surya, who donned his lawyer robes after a year. Advocate Surya appeared for the depositors of Sri Guru Raghavendra Sahakara Bank (Bank).
The Bank has been in trouble ever since the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed restrictions on withdrawal of deposits from the bank. At the beginning of the year, MP Surya had assured the Bank that the Finance Minister was personally monitoring the matter. Subsequently, the matter has gone through several levels, including the appointment of an administrator by the Government.
This appointment was challenged by the Bank management, with Surya appearing on behalf of one of the depositors.
Tejasvi Surya spoke to Bar & Bench about his maiden appearance in court after becoming an MP in 2019.
Speaking on the case, he said,
“The Bank has more than 150 institutional depositors and they in turn have 2.5 lakh depositors. Most of these depositors who were affected are from my constituency.
It had become a moral and social responsibility to ensure that their life savings are protected. I have worked with RBI, the government and the depositors since early this year to ensure that this issue is resolved. The Bank management was trying to secure a stay on the appointment of the Administrator."
First Lok Sabha MP to practice in Karnataka High Court while being an MP?
"In fact, after the arguments were over, many Senior Counsel called me and said this may be the first (at least in recent times) where a sitting Lok Sabha MP argued before the Karnataka High Court.
Rajya Sabha MPs have consistently defended political parties and clients before various Courts."
Should Lok Sabha MPs argue and keep an active practice?
"From the beginning, I always believed that political leaders must have an independent profession for their bread and butter."
Surya adds that being employed through other means ensure that a politician brings professional discipline to the table.
"It will also ensure that you don’t use political office to make material gains", he said.
"If someone is an owner of a real estate company or a construction company, then there is no bar. So why should there by a bar on MPs to practice law or chartered accountancy?"
What next for Advocate Tejasvi Surya?
"It’s almost a year since I appeared in courts. During the lockdown, there was a restriction on public meetings. As a Lok Sabha MP, a lot of time used to be spent on these meetings.
Now, I started working on re-starting my practice. I hope in the coming days, I can restart my practice full-fledged."