Can a non-lawyer appear in court?

by Indialegal Live India Legal Stories That Count

Can a non-lawyer appear in Supreme court, High Court or any lower court as a replacement of any litigant? Yes, but for this, the prior approval of the court is required on demand by the litigant. A lawyer and non-lawyer terms are often most often misunderstood with an advocate. A lawyer is a person who knows the law, however, an advocate is a person who may be a lawyer registered with any bar council and bound by Advocate Act. 


Anyone can represent themselves in any court of India, but this will be possible only when the court is satisfied with it. In case a particular person does not have sufficient means, then the State provides the lawyer. Even a holder of professional law degree can not represent someone else in any court of law unless he/she is registered as an advocate with any bar council of India. 


How a non-lawyer can appear in court?


A non-lawyer can represent himself ahead of court by drafting a petition. As per the section 32 of the Advocates Act, 1961 of the Constitution of India, a non-lawyer may argue within court by filing an application for the time the courts permits him to proceed with the case.


In which cases does the court allow appearances?


When the court allows appearances of such non-lawyers in special cases, one gets the statutory right to defend one’s case via the Advocate Act in India. The rule is subject to certain exceptions.


In the case of Supreme Court and High Court, only lawyers can represent others, however, in lower courts or tribunals like labour courts, consumer courts etc., anyone educated and skilled can appear and represent others. The Constitution of India forbids only the accused to be a witness against himself.


All lower courts and tribunals follow their own rules that are suitable for procedural implementation. These rules do not prohibit the practice of law, as they are regulatory provisions.

Such rules describe that a non-advocate is bond to file an application with a local advocate who is already registered with bar.

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Created on Dec 23rd 2020 06:38. Viewed 170 times.


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