Lawyers' chambers meant for use of advocates; not to be sold: Delhi HC

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New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) The Delhi High Court has held that lawyers' chambers are meant for the use of advocates and those who have been allotted such rooms do not have the rights to sell or alienate them in any manner.

Justice Prathiba M Singh said that transfer of rights in chambers was contrary to law and cannot be allowed.

The court directed the New Delhi Bar Association (NDBA) to place on record any specific rules or decisions relating to allotment and transfer of chambers in the Patiala House Courts here. It also asked the NDBA to state on affidavit that it was following the high court rules for chamber allotment and transfer as claimed by it.

'The affidavit to be filed by the NDBA shall specifically state as to whether selling/transferring of rights in chambers is being permitted or not. 'The counsel (for NDBA) shall also file on record the rules which permit transfer of chambers between unknown and unrelated persons,' the court said and listed the matter for hearing on March 19.

The direction came on an application by lawyer Kuldeep Kumar, seeking interim directions to NDBA to produce certain documents which according to him are necessary for adjudication of his petition challenging rejection by the association of his request to transfer to him the chamber which had been allotted to his father.

In his petition, filed through advocate Tarun Chandiok, Kumar has contended that after his father's demise when he sought transfer of the chamber to him as per the customary practice being followed by NDBA, his request was rejected in an 'arbitrary, discriminatory and whimsical manner'.

During the hearing of the matter on January 28, the counsel for NDBA told the court that transfer of rights in a chamber in Patiala House Courts is permissible, to the legal heirs of deceased allottees, who are also practising advocates and members of the association.

The NDBA's lawyer also told the court that the transfer of chambers was also taking place from one member of the association to another member, even if the said person is not a legal heir, so long as a no objection certificate was given by the original allottee. It further claimed that there were no specific rules being followed relating to allotment and transfer of chambers.

Justice Singh, however, said, 'This court is of the opinion that lawyers' chambers are meant for the use of lawyers and no rights vest in the allottees to either sell rights in the chambers or alienate them in any manner. 'If the submission of the counsel for the NDBA is correct, then rights in chambers being transferred, would be contrary to law.' PTI HMP ZMN