ADVOCATE – His Duty
A patron of a cause assisting his client with advice and pleading for him. The expression “advocate or pleader” refers to legal practitioner and means a person who has right to act and/or plead in court on behalf of his client. An advocate has a twofold duty: (1) to protect the interest of his client and pursue the case briefed to him with the best of his ability and (2) to act as an officer of the court. Even though Public Prosecutor/Assistant Public Prosecutor is in full-time employment with the Government and is subject to disciplinary control of the employer, but once he appears in the court for conduct of a case or prosecution, he is guided by the norms consistent with the interest of justice. His acts always remain to serve and protect the public interest. He has to discharge his functions fairly, objectively and within the framework of the legal provisions. It may, therefore, not be correct to say that an Assistant Public Prosecutor is not an officer of the court, Deepak Aggarwal v. Keshav Kaushik, (2013) 5 SCC 277: (2013) 2 SCC (L&S) 88: (2013) 2 SCC (Cri) 978: (2013) 3 SCC (Civ) 26. Advocate means an advocate entered in any roll under the provisions of this Act, [Section 2(a), Advocates Act, 1961 (India)] and [Entry 2(b), Noti. No. 12/2017- Central Tax (Rate) dt. 28-06-2017 (India)]. Advocate means an advocate whose name has been entered in the State roll prepared and maintained by a State Bar Council under Section 17 of the Advocates Act, 1961 (25 of 1961) and who is a member of a State Bar Association or State Advocates’ Association, [Section 2(a), Advocates’ Welfare Fund Act, 2001. Lawyer:— A person learned in the law, as a counsel or solicitor.
Pleader:—One who draws pleadings. Pleader means any person entitled to appear and plead for another in Court and includes an advocate, a vakil and an attorney of a High Court, [Section 2(15), Civil Procedure Code, 1908 (India)]. Leader means a person authorised by or under any law for the time being in force, to practise in such Court and includes any other person appointed with the permission of the Court to act in such proceeding, Section 2(q), Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 .
An advocate is an officer of the court and enjoys special status in society. Advocates have obligations and duties to ensure smooth functioning of the court. They owe a duty to their clients. It is the duty of every advocate who has accepted a brief to attend trial, even though it may go on day to day and for a prolonged period. It is also settled law that a lawyer who has accepted a brief cannot refuse to attend court because a boycott call is given by the Bar Association, Common Cause v. Union of India, (2006) 9 SCC 295, Para 4.
A vakalatnamah is an important and solemn document. By it frequently extensive powers are entrusted to vakils and others, and powers should be specified in the document before it is executed by any party to it. The signature of a party to a vakalatnamah authenticates the fact that the person in whose favour the vakalatnamah is drawn up is authorized by the person signing it to do the act specified in the document, Abdul Aziz v. Punjab National Bank Ltd., 1928 SCC OnLine Lah 394: ILR (1929) 10 Lah 570].