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Advocates Must Prioritize Ethics Over Client Demands : Raj HC

Advocates Must Prioritize Ethics Over Client Demands : Raj HC

The Rajasthan High Court recently emphasized that advocates must refrain from blindly adhering to unethical or illegal instructions from their clients. Instead, they are encouraged to offer unbiased and honest advice, prioritizing ethical conduct in their legal practice.

Justice Anil Kumar Upman emphasized that advocates have a duty not only to their clients but also to the court and the administration of justice.

The Court made these comments while expressing concern over the growing trend of converting civil disputes into criminal cases, especially in commercial matters.

During the hearing of a petition seeking the quashing of an FIR registered by Jaipur Police against a Mumbai-based company, the complaint alleged that despite the complainant making an advance payment for certain goods, the company failed to deliver them.

Upon examining the facts of the case, the court questioned the basis for the registration of a criminal case by the police.

"When FIR itself disclosed nothing more than a commercial relationship which broke, it is not possible for respondent No.2 [complainant] to enlarge the scope of his complaint by merely adding the language used in the text of the Indian Penal Code," the Court said while the quashing FIR.

In this context, the Court observed that in situations involving longstanding business relationships, it was not uncommon for one party to exploit the criminal justice system to gain an unfair advantage. Regarding the role advocates should play in preventing such frivolous litigation, the Court asserted that a competent advocate should never support the criminalization of commercial matters.

The Court emphasized that if a client's instructions contravene ethical guidelines or involve engaging in dishonest or unethical practices, it is the duty of the advocate to counsel the client against such actions. The single-judge further suggested that courts should impose stricter sanctions on individuals who attempt to abuse the judicial system.

Advocates Kapil Gupta, Ajay Gadhwal, RS Sinsinwar, Chitransh Saxena, Vipul Ojha, Anisha Yadav, Nidhi Sharma, Dharmendra Bairwa and Adarsh Singhal appeared for the petitioner.

Public Prosecutor Mahendra Meena and advocates Hemant Nahta and Naresh Sharma appeared for the respondents including the complainant.

Case Title: Simara Foods Pvt. Ltd v. State of Rajasthan
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