Can a Non-Lawyer also make submissions before the Court?

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Many times a question comes in our mind that whether a person who is not enrolled as an advocate can make his/her submission before the court? Generally what we know that only an advocate who is enrolled under the Bar Council of India or any State Bar Council can plead before the Hon’ble court.

 

On this question, the Hon’ble Madras High Court has observed that a court has the power to permit any person not enrolled as an advocate to put his submission before the court. Justice N Anand Venkatesh, upholding magistrate’s order rejecting the remand of Nakkeeran Gopal has observed that there is nothing wrong calling upon senior journalist N Ram to make his submission before the court.

Mr. N Ram, the Chairman of Hindu Publication was standing in the midst of advocates and others who had gathered in the court at the time of the hearing. He did not make any submission on his own. The learned magistrate himself called Mr. N Ram and invited his opinion as to whether the provision under section 124 was applied against any publication in the past. On being invited to give his opinion as a senior and renowned journalist he expressed his opinion in the court.

The court has observed that inviting Mr. N Ram and seeking his opinion is very much within the powers of the court and there is no bar in the law to seek for such opinion. In order to substantiate his submission, the learned counsel brought to the notice of this court section 32 of the Advocates Act, 1961 and the judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court in Harishankar Rastogi Vs. Girdhari Sharma and another (1978, 2 SCC 165).

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Justice N Anand Venkatesh while dealing with the case has made it clear that a person who is not enrolled as an advocate under the Advocates Act, 1961 can also make his submission before a court if the court gives him the permission to make so.