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SUPREME COURT EXEMPTS ADVOCATES FROM CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT



  May 14, 2024

SUPREME COURT EXEMPTS ADVOCATES FROM CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT



1. What did the Supreme Court rule regarding advocates and the Consumer Protection Act?

The Supreme Court ruled that advocates cannot be held liable under the Consumer Protection Act 1986 (as re-enacted in 2019) for deficiency of services.

2. Why are advocates exempt from the Consumer Protection Act?

The Court distinguished professionals, who require high levels of education, skill, and mental labor, from those engaged in business and trade. The success of professionals often depends on various external factors beyond their control.

3. What previous judgment was overruled by this decision?

The 2007 judgment by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) that included services rendered by lawyers under Section 2 (o) of the Consumer Protection Act 1986 was overruled.

4. What is the significance of the VP Shanta judgment in this context?

The VP Shanta judgment, which held that medical professionals are liable under the Consumer Protection Act, was referenced by the Court, suggesting it requires reconsideration by a larger bench.

5. How does the legal profession differ from other professions?

The legal profession is unique due to the relationship between clients and advocates, where advocates act as agents for their clients, owe fiduciary duties, and must respect client autonomy. This relationship is considered a contract of personal service, excluding it from the Consumer Protection Act.

6. Can advocates still be sued for professional misconduct?

Yes, advocates can still be sued in ordinary courts of law for professional misconduct or negligence.

7. What does this ruling mean for clients?

Clients cannot file complaints against advocates for deficiency of services under the Consumer Protection Act but can seek redressal through other legal avenues.

8. Will this ruling affect other professions?

The ruling specifically pertains to advocates, but the Court suggested that the differentiation between professions and business could influence how other professions are treated under the Consumer Protection Act.


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