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Kerala HC allows clergy to practise law
March 21, 2006 15:02 IST
The Kerala High Court on Tuesday permitted nuns and priests to practise law. A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice V K Bali and Justice J B Koshy, held that the clergy - priests or nuns - as a class professing religion would not 'attract the bar for entry into the profession as created under the Bar Council Rules'.
The Bench dismissed a writ appeal filed by the Bar Council of India, challenging a single judge's order permitting priests and nuns to enrol as advocates.
"Simply because an applicant was seeking entry into a noble profession professing religion, that itself was not enough to reject his/her application and to ban them from practising law," it said.
Earlier, a single judge had permitted Sister Teena Jose, Sister Tessy and Father Thomas Puthussery to enrol as advocates.
The Bar Council of India had filed an appeal challenging this decision. However, the Bar Council of Kerala did not challenge the single judge's decision.
A single judge had in November last held that being a priest or nun cannot be a disqualification in itself for being enrolled as advocates.
Allowing three petitions by the nuns and priest against the Bar Council's decision not to enrol them as advocates, Justice K Balakrishnan Nair had quashed the committee's decision and directed the Bar Council to reconsider their applications within a month.