NEWS

Shah’s Petition Struck Out

An act of dishonesty as in the present case brings the nobility of the profession and the justice system into question. This was the comment was made by Chief Justice
26 Jan 2022 11:24
Shah’s Petition Struck Out

An act of dishonesty as in the present case brings the nobility of the profession and the justice system into question.

This was the comment was made by Chief Justice Kamal Kumar, while delivering the judgment in the case of prominent former lawyer Haraoon Ali Shah, who was disbarred for almost 10 years, after being found guilty of professional misconduct. On August 4, 2020, Shah filed a Petition for re-admission as a Legal Practitioner, together with his Affidavit in Support. On August 5, 2020, the Chief Registrar filed a Statement with the grounds of his objection.

Shah, who was a member of the legal profession for 30 years, was found guilty of seven counts of professional misconduct and two counts of unsatisfactory professional conduct by the Independent Legal Services Commission in June 2012.

On June 22, 2012, Independent Legal Services Commissioner, Justice Paul Madigan ruled that the Chief Registrar struck Shah’s name from the roll of legal practitioners.

Shah was permitted to continue in practice for 28 days for the limited purposes of winding up his practice, but in the course of that period, he was not to make any court appearances or accept new instructions from existing or new clients. Shah was found guilty in relation to monies held in a trust account on behalf of his client, Sashi Lata, for two and a half years.

Chief Justice Kumar said it was obvious that Shah misappropriated funds held on behalf of Sashi Lata and in simple terms, meant he stole Sashi Lata’s money.

He said the members of the community who entrusted Shah, do so on the understanding that the Shah was an honourable person who would act honestly for his client’s benefit and interest.

“Legal Practitioners who receive money in their Trust Account on behalf of their client are required to pay out the money for the purpose it was received and not otherwise unless and until the person on whom behalf monies are held instruct the Legal Practitioner to do so,” Chief Justice Kumar said.

“The Provision of Trust Account Act 1996 makes this obligation very clear.

“An act of dishonesty as in the present case brings the nobility of the profession and the justice system into question. In this instant, the misconduct on the part of the Petitioner, which he failed to acknowledge or for which he failed to show remorse has certainly affected the confidence of the public and brought disrepute to the nobility of the profession and the integrity/dignity of our justice system.

“After analysing the evidence, this Court has no hesitation in holding that the Petitioner has failed to satisfy this Court that he is a fit and proper person to be re-admitted as a Legal Practitioner,” Chief Justice Kumar said.

He ordered that Shah’s Petition for Admission as a Legal Practitioner filed on August 4, 2020, be struck out.

 

 



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