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The Delhi High Court Bar Association has resolved to wear white armbands on March 12 as a mark of initial protest against the propsoal to include advocates under the ambit of 'service providers' under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
The Resolution passed by the Delhi High Court Bar Association in its emergent meeting of the Executive Committee held on March 11 reads,
The resolution further states that the Bar Association will make a "strong representation" to the Central Government to withdraw the proposal to inlcude advocates under the ambit of consumer law.
The Resolution reads,
“.. upon taking reports appearing in media about the proposed framing of Rules under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 so as to surreptitiously and in a most clandestine manner, include Advocates within the purview of “service provider” under the Act, thereby making Advocates amenable to jurisdiction under the Consumer Fora;
The Bar Association will make a strong representation to the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India to withdraw the said proposal."
Calling the proposal misconceived and mischevious, the DHCBA has added that in case the proposal is not rolled back, there will be a strong agitation against the move.
The Resolution states,
"The Bar and the legal fraternity cautions the Government against going ahead with the said misconceived and mischievous proposal failing which the Bar Association will be compelled to launch a strong agitation against the ill conceived move."
Speaking to Bar & Bench, Advocate Naginder Benipal, Member Executive- DHCBA explained,
"Advocate are governed under the Advocates Act and there are Bar Council of India Rules which we are required to be follow. Bar Council of India is the governing body and the presence of Bar Associations ensures that lawyers act in accordance with the prescribed rules and regulations.. Engaging a lawyer would not come within the ambit of Section 2(1)(o) of the Consumer Protection Act as the client executes a power of attorney/ vakalatnama, authorising the counsel to act on his behalf based on the fact Of the case."