December 07, 2021

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Don’t arrest law student who stood in for lawyer, orders Allahabad high court

Don’t arrest law student who stood in for lawyer, orders Allahabad high court

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court has stayed the arrest of a law student who appeared before a Rae Bareli tribunal on behalf of his senior (under whom he was working as an intern) and sought adjournment in a case.

The Presiding officer, Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal, Rae Bareli ordered a First Information Report (FIR) against law student Abhay Kumar Gupta on charges of impersonating a lawyer.

Following the court order, police registered an FIR against the law student on October 6 at Kotwali police station, Rae Bareli, under sections 419 (cheating by impersonation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 171 (wearing garb used by public servant with fraudulent intent) of the Indian Penal Code.

The bench of justices Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Saroj Yadav on November 11 wasn’t entirely convinced.

“It does not appear to be a case where the petitioner is said to have impersonated as a lawyer. From the order dated 4.10.2021 passed by the presiding officer, it appears that the petitioner was present in the tribunal in a civil dress without adorning robes,” the bench said in its November 11 order.

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“Prima facie, it appears to us that the petitioner over-zealously attempted to seek adjournment in a case where one of the parties appears to have been represented by the learned advocate under whom the petitioner was interning,” added the court.

“Having regard to the overall facts and circumstances of the case, we hereby direct that till the next date of listing, the petitioner Abhay Kumar Gupta shall not be arrested pursuant to the impugned FIR no. 614 of 2021,” directed the court.

The court, however, ordered the law student to cooperate with the investigation.

During the proceedings, Gupta’s lawyer Anil Kumar Mishra pointed out that the order (passed on October 4) recorded that on being asked, the petitioner told the presiding officer that he was a law student and not a practising lawyer.

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