The case namely, Sessy Xavier v. State of Kerala was practically came into the foreground, more or less a month ago in the Kerala High Court. This case is correlated with the procurement of fake advocacy and the fake membership in the Bar Association. Here, Sessy Xavier was a lawyer and was elected member of Alappuzha Bar Association, against whom a case filed with the allegations that she had no proper qualification that is required to become a lawyer. But now, her membership has been cancelled by the Bar Association, after the case was filed against her by the police. Let’s discuss the case in detail-
FACTS OF THE CASE
This case is primarily all about the showcase of fake degree or qualification as the real one. A girl name as Cessy Xavier is a resident of Kuttanad region, located in Kerala. She was a practicing lawyer since two years ago in Alappuzha, a district in the state of Kerala and also has been one of the post holders in the Alappuzha Bar association by winning the elections held out there.
Now, it was alleged that she has no proper qualification that is required for enrolling oneself in the Bar Council of India and becoming the member of any Bar Association. It was also alleged by the Bar Association that the enrollment id, provided by her, belonged to someone else and the certificates were also forged. She had also presented some cases and she had been the advocate commissioner in some cases.
AN ANONYMOUS LETTER AS OPENER
One anonymous letter worked as the opener of this case. She got exposed through that anonymous letter only. Bar Association received an anonymous letter stating that Xavier has no qualified law degree, the association immediately came into the action and started their investigation regarding that letter. The association gave her time to be present with the legal documents of her, but she didn’t. When the Bar association get confirmed about the loopholes in connection with her, they expelled her from there, after taking the whole investigation on their own. Later, they had filed a case against her to the police in the form of first information report.
SECTIONS INFLICTED ON HER
She has been charged with the Section 417 which provides the punishment for cheating, Section 419 which provides the punishment for cheating by using someone else name for own use with the guilty intention or to deceive someone, Section 420, it is provided for the cheating and dishonestly inducing someone for the delivery of property, Section 465 which is for the punishment of forgery, and Section 468 portrayed the forgery with the intent of cheating. Here, the offences under Section 417 and 419 are the bailable offences, whereas Section 420, 465 and 468 provided the non-bailable offences.
FURTHER DETAILS OF THE CASE
When Xavier became acquainted with the entire scenario, she immediately fled away with some rare books and some documents and no one knows where she is now. Reportedly, some certificates and documents, which she had provided while taking membership in the Bar Association, were also missing from there and it was claimed that either she had destroyed that documents or she had taken away the same with her. In this matter, Kerala High Court ordered her to present and cooperate with the officials, but she didn’t. As per the reports, she came to the court but when she got to know that the non bailable sections were also hit on her, she fled again. Police has been on the manhunt of her.
Xavier through her advocate, Advocate Roy Chacko, moved to the Kerala High Court for seeking the interim bail and pleaded that she had no malafide intent, on which Kerala court reprimanded and said that she practiced law without a law degree, how can you say that she had no malafide intention and with this saying Kerala High Court denied to grant the interim bail to her and also the court had demurred to not use title ‘advocate’ for her.
WHO IS SHE?
Xavier had been a law student but she was unable to get the degree due to some reasons. She interned under the advocate based in Alappuzha district during his law school and then she placed somewhere else. After some months, she came back to that lawyer and joined him as the junior lawyer with the claim that she had completed her qualification. She obscured this fact from everyone. She used to give the retracted statements always to her friends, said she had completed her law degree from Thiruvananthapuram and sometimes said that she had completed the same from Bangalore. Then, she applied in the Bar Association for taking the membership out there with the fake certificates. In fact, she participated in the elections held out in the Bar Association, and even won and posted as the librarian in the same association. But later, it was found that all this was on the basis of dummy foundation. Her colleagues were left surprised and shocked. But she gets support from somewhere, through which it is possible to her to abscond even from the court. Police reported that when she came to the court recently and became acquainted that non bailable offences were also inflicted on her, then she absconded from the court’s back door with the help of some lawyers.
Since she avoids the interrogation, it is still a big question to everyone that how she fabricated the forged documents and certificates. This question might reveal some big names and identities, that having involvement not only in this case but in many more, because this is not the only case of fake lawyers, there are number of lawyers without having the proper or real law degree or certificates. It is very expedient to take it on a serious note for the public’s sake.
In the Lawyer’s Meet, 2015, it was reported by the head of Bar Council of India that 30% of lawyers in India are fake and they gained their certifications, fraudulently and these types of errant lawyers are causing loss of reputation and standard of this profession. In the meantime, they inaugurated the certificate verification process through which all the certificates and enrolled members can be verified with the view that it prevents the legal profession from the fraud.
Recently, a plea filed by an advocate in the Madurai High Court, for taking strict verification guidelines to swipe out the fake lawyers from the system, though it was adjourned for some times.
There must be some strict guidelines to not allowing the frauds as an advocate. It is very imperative to prevent the happening of these types of cases, and it is possible only when the strict actions shall be taken against them by the higher authorities. The certificates and documents should be verified in a way so as no one can practice law by presenting the fabricated certificates and documents. Spread awareness in the students who are pursuing their law studies, is the earliest step through which they will start to take their profession seriously. Frauds in the legal system will turn down the reputation of it, and it will also shape the suspicion on the several minds of general public, that can create the scarcity of trust towards the judicial system.
Author(s) Name: Pooja Katre (Renaissance Law College, D.A.V.V. University, Indore)