Suo-Moto Case against Advocate for Pre-judging outcome of Pending Appeal The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, BR Gavai, and Krishna Murari stated that speculating the outcome of a pending appeal before the Court is sheer professional misconduct and proceeded suo-moto case against the advocate who misguided the client The Supreme Court of India (SC) has come down heavily...
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Suo-Moto Case against Advocate for Pre-judging outcome of Pending Appeal
The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, BR Gavai, and Krishna Murari stated that speculating the outcome of a pending appeal before the Court is sheer professional misconduct and proceeded suo-moto case against the advocate who misguided the client
The Supreme Court of India (SC) has come down heavily on an advocate who advised his client, allegedly speculated about the outcome of a pending appeal before it.
The Apex Court bench while disagreeing with the views of both the Trial Court and the High Court (HC) has set aside the orders passed by both the Courts.
A civil appeal was filed by Madhavendra L. Bhatnagar (Appellant) against Bhavna Lall (Respondent) before the Apex Court. It arose from an order of the Trial Court dismissing an application filed by the husband (Appellant) seeking an interim anti-suit injunction against his wife (respondent) restraining her from initiating any proceeding against him in Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County.
The Court of First Additional Principal Judge, Family Court, rejected the application filed by the appellant under Order 39 Rule 3 read with Section 151 of Civil Procedure Code (CPC) for granting an interim anti-suit injunction against the respondent. The High Court of Madhya Pradesh (MP) also upheld the Trial Court order, hence an appeal was filed before the Apex Court.
The SC observed, "Be that as it may, during the pendency of the stated suit for declaration and direction to handover custody of the minor child, an application had been moved by the appellant before the Trial Court which came to be rejected on the ground that the Superior Court of Arizona was outside India and not subordinate to that Court. This view noted by the Trial Court is completely erroneous and ill-advised. For, the relief claimed by the appellant was for grant of an interim anti-suit injunction against the respondent and not against the Superior Court of Arizona, as such."
The Bench further pointed out "When the matter traveled to the High Court at the instance of the appellant, even the High Court preceded on an incorrect basis, that the Courts in India could adjudicate the controversy between the parties, only after the Superior Court of Arizona would pass an order in the pending proceedings.
That was not the purpose for which the ex parte ad interim relief was sought by the appellant. In any case, no judgment of this Court has been brought to our notice, which says that if the other party had already resorted to proceedings before another Court including outside India, an anti-suit injunction cannot be issued even if the fact situation so warrants.
In our opinion, both the Trial Court and the High Court misapplied the legal position and committed a manifest error, in rejecting the ad-interim relief claimed by the appellant against the respondent during the pendency of the proceedings between the parties before the Court at Bhopal."
The Bench also noted the response of the respondent that her Attorney in India had advised her that the appeal pending before the SC would not succeed at all.
The SC stated, "We fail to understand as to how an advocate appearing in the matter of instructing the litigant who is party before the SC of India would be in a position to prejudge the outcome of the proceedings or if we may say so speculate about the outcome thereof. Prima facie, this, in our opinion, is bordering on professional misconduct and needs to be proceeded with."
The SC directed the respondent, "To file an affidavit and disclose the name of the advocate from India, who had so advised her and based on which she was advised to take a stand before the Superior Court of Arizona."
The SC stated that it shall take a suo moto action against the advocate who has pre-judged the decision on a pending appeal as it amounts to professional misconduct.