Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Saturday has clarified that there is no proposal to include lawyers within the ambit of the Consumer Protection Act. This statement of Paswan comes after Bar Council of India (BCD) and Bar Council of Delhi had written to Paswan, opposing contemplation of the Centre to include lawyers under the ambit of the Consumer Protection Act.
Speaking to the media Union Consumer Affairs Minister Paswan said, "I would like to clarify that there is no proposal to include legal services in the rules being framed under the Act. Further, at present, there is no proposal to amend the definition of 'services' in the Consumer Protection Act, 2019."
Recently, the Delhi High Court Bar Association also wore a white ribbon to mark their protest against it. The Bar councils said that bringing advocates under the ambit of the Act will hamper their professional activities and encourage frivolous complaints.
Earlier on March 12, the Bar Council of India had expressed "anguish" and "resentment" on behalf of over twenty lakh advocates of the country at the government's decision to bring lawyers within the purview of the Consumer Protection Act.
BCI in its letter to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, requested that the proposal be withdrawn or else the lawyer fraternity would be left with no option but to launch a protest against it.
"With utmost humility, we would like to inform your good self that in case our demand is disregarded, entire advocates fraternity of the country will be left with no option but to come on the roads with a massive agitation against the draconian proposal to bring Advocates within the applicability of Consumer Protection Act," the apex bar body said.
The BCI letter said it was a judicially acknowledged fact that advocates are not part of any trade, commerce or industry nor does their work fall within the ambit of the Service Tax Act but it was merely an activity in aid and assistance of the justice administration system.
(with agencies input)