The Registrar General of the Madras High Court has issued a circular directing the concerned authorities of the Registry not to accept vakalat/Memo of appearance, if it does not contain the Enrollment Number, Mobile Number and complete residential address of the concerned advocate.

The circular has made reference to an earlier High Court Circular dated April 16, 2014, which had made it mandatory for all Advocates practicing in the High Courts/Tribunals in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to mention their respective Enrollment Number and Telephone Number in the Vakalat/Memo of Appearance.

Further, in a recent order, Justice S Vaidyanathan had also called for similar procedures to be complied with before filing cases to guard against fake advocates. Although a representation had been made to reconsider the promulgation of the guidelines laid down by the judge, the same was not entertained by Justice Vaidyanathan in view of the bar contained in Section 362 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The judge had noted that the only remedy before aggrieved persons at this stage would be to approach the Supreme Court. Before parting with the case, Justice Vaidyanathan had also hinted that it is high time that verification measures be adopted to counter the rise of fraudulent advocates, remarking that

If the suggestions/directions are not going to be adhered to, even the God can’t save this profession and this institution.”

The High Court circular issued last Monday states,

As directed, in continuation of the High Court’s Circular in the reference 1st cited, all the Heads of the Sections of this Registry, both in the Principal Seat of Madras and the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court, Madurai, are hereby directed not to accept any vakalat/Memo of Appearance, if it does not contain the Enrolment Number, Mobile Number and complete residential address of the counsel on record as well as the Advocate, who attests the Vakalat and Affidavit.

In light of observations made by Justice Vaidyanathan in his order, it has also been specifically directed in the Circular that,

No Vakalath shall be accepted if the only address of the Advocate/Counsel on Record or the Advocate attesting the Vakalath is mentioned as ‘Madras High Court Advocates Association (M.H.A.A.)’.

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