Tuesday, January 31, 2023

“No proposal to include lawyers under ambit of Consumer Protection Law”, says Ram Vilas Paswan

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Union Minister for Consumer Affairs Ram Vilas Pawan on Saturday clarified that there is no proposal to include lawyers under the ambit of the Consumer Protection Law.

The statement comes after Bar Council of India (BCI) and Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) had written to Paswan, opposing any such move.

“I would like to clarify that there is no proposal to include legal services in the rules being framed under the Act. Further, at present, there is no proposal to amend the definition of ‘services’ in the Consumer Protection Act, 2019,” said Paswan.

In a statement, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) said,” The government is called upon not to go ahead with proposed move and not to do anything directly or indirectly to treat lawyers as Service Providers under the said Act.”

“SCBA believes that the move would prove to be counterproductive. It is also unconstitutional, illegal and violative of the Advocates Act, 1961 and designed to undermine the right of independent practice of without fear of favour,” the statement said.

Earlier this week, the members of the Delhi High Court Bar Association had also worn a white ribbon to mark their protest against it.

The Bar Council of India on Thursday had expressed “anguish” and “resentment” on behalf of over twenty lakh advocates in the country over the apprehension of inclusion under the Consumer law.

BCI in a letter to the ministry had requested that any such move be withdrawn or else the lawyer fraternity would be left with no option but to launch a protest against it.

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