Advocate briefly held for misusing another lawyer’s roll number

Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court today briefly took a lawyer in its custody after he was found appearing before it, allegedly misusing the court-allocated roll number of another advocate with the same name.

A bench of Justice Vipin Sinha ordered the police to arrest advocate Jitendra Kumar Singh and take him to the court’s registrar general for a preliminary probe into the matter after he admitted wrongly citing the wrong roll number to appear before the court.

The bench also asked the registrar general to conduct an enquiry into the incident and submit his report to the bench in a sealed cover within 15 days. Justice Sinha, meanwhile, barred the erring lawyer from donning the advocates’ uniform and appear before any of its benches, pending enquiry into the matter, and slated the matter for further hearing on 14 September.

The court’s registrar general released the advocate after conducting a preliminary enquiry and asked him to appear before the bench on the next date.

The matter came to light when Singh appeared before the bench to argue a pending case of his client Ram Gopal. But, as he stood up to argue the case, another lawyer objected to his appearance, saying he was wrongly using his roll number.

As the Justice Sinha asked the erring advocate to explain his alleged misdeed, he first told the bench that he appeared to have wrongly cited the roll number of the advocate with the same name.

But later he told the bench that he had applied for the court’s roll number but had failed to secure one, due to which he was compelled to misuse the court’s unique identification number allocated to another lawyer with the same name.

The Allahabad High Court has the system of allocating unique roll or registration numbers to advocate, entitling them to appear before it, explained Delhi-based advocate Gyanant Singh, adding no outsider, without the court-allocated number can [practice there.

The Allahabad High Court’s system of allocating lawyers a unique roll number is akin to the Supreme Court’s advocate-on-record (AoR) system, he said, adding that no petition can be filed in the apex court unless an AoR clears it and affixes his signature on it. An AoR also has to be present as a senior counsel argues the case, he said.