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“Law Chambers” on letterhead only records the practice of the chamber which is a sole proprietorship

The expression “Law Chambers” has a history from England and also in India because we borrowed a considerable jurisprudence from England where it is a reference to a particular lawyer in whose chambers people may be working and carrying on the legal practice. It appears that this is the style Mr. Murarka seeks to adopt by reference to the Law Chamber with his name following suit. Effectively this style only records the practice of the chamber which is a sole proprietorship of Mr.Siddharth Murarka. (Para 8)



In Re: Advocate on Record

Includes a Proprietary Firm Etc.

Writ Petition (Civil) No.1107/2020

Decided on January 20, 2021.


The present case was decided by a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Hrishikesh Roy.


The repeated emails of the petitioner resulted in an administrative decision to take up the issue on the judicial side. The issue before the Court was crystallized at the inception of the proceedings- The question which we have formulated by our order dated 12.10.2020 is, whether an Advocate on Record can have entry in Advocate On Record register in the form of his style of carrying on profession i.e. instead of “Siddharth Murarka” as “Law Chambers of Siddharth Murarka”?. (Para 1)

The plea of the petitioner is based on doing similar filing in different High Courts but not being permitted to do so in Supreme Court which, he claims, puts him at a disadvantage against partnership firms since there is no impediment in the constitution of a partnership firm of Advocates, where two or more Advocates on Record may constitute a firm. The grievance of the petitioner is that if the partnership firm can be registered and operate, he should be permitted to do as a sole proprietor.


The Court heard Mr. Siddharth Murarka and also made it clear that the emails and the language used against the officers of this Court or against other advocates is not acceptable. Mr. Siddharth Murarka unconditionally withdrew all emails addressed in this behalf, and only on the said being done the Court proceeded to see if a solution can be found to the problem of Mr. Murarka.


Mr. Kailash Vasdev, learned senior counsel/Amicus Curiae assisted the Court and gave a brief history of how the Supreme Court Rules were formulated. He emphasized that the expression used in the Rules historically and now is “person” or “agent”. Similarly, the authorization is referred to “him”. It was, however, submitted that under Order IV Rule 15 to 29 and Rule 31(originally), the enrolment of Advocate on Record has been dealt with and still do so in the amended form under the 2013 Rules- what emerges is that there can be an Advocate on Record or a firm of Advocates on Record.


On hearing learned counsel for the parties, the Court was in agreement with the submission of learned Amicus Curiae that if different styles of writing names are to be permitted for Advocates on Record, that can only by an exercise to amend the Rules. In this regard, the Court stated: Thus, insofar as the larger issue is concerned, we leave it to the Rule making authorities to examine whether they would like to expand the registration of Advocates on Record permitting persons to carry on the profession in any sole proprietorship firms, styles or name. The Rules being sacrosanct, we would not like to interfere with the same in the present proceeding. (Para 6)


The only aspect left to the examination of the Court is the letter head of Mr. Murarka. The Court observed:

The expression “Law Chambers” has a history from England and also in India because we borrowed a considerable jurisprudence from England where it is a reference to a particular lawyer in whose chambers people may be working and carrying on the legal practice. It appears that this is the style Mr. Murarka seeks to adopt by reference to the Law Chamber with his name following suit. Effectively this style only records the practice of the chamber which is a sole proprietorship of Mr.Siddharth Murarka. Mr. Siddharth Rajkumar Murarka is the person who is registered as an Advocate on Record with the Supreme Court. (Para 8)


The Court held that it is a permissible style of putting on the letter head and closed the proceedings.


View/Download Judgment: In Re: A dvocate on Record


Jhanavi M.

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