HL Deb 15 June 1926 vol 64 cc409-10

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(The Lord Chancellor.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly:

[The EARL OF DONOUGHMORE in the Chair.]

Clause 1:

Power to appoint Indian Judges, etc., as additional members of the Judicial Committee.

1.—(1) His Majesty may by Letters Patent appoint two persons qualified as pro- vided in this section to be members of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and may from time to time fill any vacancies caused by death or otherwise in the offices of the persons so appointed.

(2) A person shall be qualified for appointment under this section if he is a Privy Counsellor and is or has been a Judge of a court which is a High Court within the meaning of clause (24) of Section three of an Act of the Indian Legislature known as the General Clauses Act, 1897, or is a barrister or advocate of not less than fourteen years standing who practises or has practised in British India.

THE LORD CHANCELLOR (VISCOUNT CAVE) moved, in subsection (2), to leave out "or advocate" and insert "advocate or vakil." The noble and learned Viscount said: The Bill provides as a qualification for appointment to this office that a person shall be, or shall have been, a Judge of one of the High Courts in India, or shall be a barrister and advocate of not less than fourteen years standing who practices or has practised in British India. There is, as your Lordships well know, a class of pleaders in India known as vakils who obtain a very considerable part of the practice in the Courts and many of whom are men of considerable legal attainments. I believe it is intended very shortly that all the vakils shall become advocates of those Courts and the word "advocate" was put in the Bill with a view to including those gentlemen when they became advocates. It has been pointed out to me that a vakil who had only just become an advocate but who had been a vakil for many years might not come within the clause as drafted. The intention is that the vakils shall stand on the same footing as other advocates for the purpose of this Bill.

Amendment moved— Page 1, line 17, leave out ("or advocate") and insert ("advocate or vakil").—(The Lord Chancellor.)


This Amendment is obviously right. A vakil is very often, I think, as good as any advocate in India and it would be very hard to exclude them from the provisions of this Bill.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 1, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 2 agreed to.

House adjourned at ten minutes before five o'clock.