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Powen Kumar Sharma v.Gurdial Singh (AIR 1999 SC 98)

Sharma enrolled as an Advocate in the Punjab& Haryana Bar council in January 1990. At the time of his enrolment his family was doing taxi business and he himself having 4 taxies in his name. A complaint was filed against him alleging professional misconduct that he is running taxi business. Since the State Bar Council could not able to dispose off the complaint within one year, it was transferred to the Bar Council Of India. Sharma denied this allegation and showed documents proving that he has sold the Taxies after the enrolment. But the Bar Council of India did not accept this documents and finally passed an order suspending him from practice for one year for professional misconduct on the ground that he was running a taxi business after enrolment. He challenged the order before the Supreme Court contending that though he had 4 taxies in his name before his enrolment he had sold the taxies after the enrolment and discontinued the taxi business. The Supreme accepted the argument and passed the following orders.

1. Simply because a person is the owner of the taxies, he cannot be treated as directly doing the business.

2. Rule 47 of the bar Council permits an Advocate to act as a sleeping partner in any business which is not inconsistent with any profession.

3. The charge of professional misconduct is a quasi-criminal charge, so it should be proved beyond reasonable doubt. In this case the person filed the complaint has failed to prove the

charge beyond reasonable doubt.

4. The appellant has produced documents showing the sale of the taxies after enrolment. The respondant has failed to prove that it is untrue.

5. The order of the Bar Council of India is set aside because professional misconduct is not approved.


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