Client complains against own lawyer, wins

An advocate has been penalised for unethical practice by the UT District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum for not giving a cheque of Rs 6,400 received by him to his client, in full and final settlement of a dispute settled in the Lok Adalat by the forum in an earlier case in August 2009.

The complainant, Ashok Kumar Awasthy, had earlier filed a complaint in the forum against a company Conexus Solutions Private Limited. According to the complainant, the company allowed an unknown entity to represent him in the case, who received a cheque of Rs 6,400, in his favor in full and final settlement of the dispute. Surprised at the outcome of the complaint, which the complainant alleged was without his knowledge and consent and also due to non-delivery of the cheque of Rs 6,400 to him, Ashok filed a complaint against the lawyer to pay up Rs 25,000 as full and final settlement.

The advocate, Dharmender Singh, submitted in his reply that he has represented the complainant throughout the case and that a junior advocate, Yogesh Shankar, received the cheque after valid authorization. He alleged that initially, the complainant consented to receive this amount, but later on changed his mind when Singh demanded his fees for the representation.

The advocate further stated that the complainant was fully aware about the compromise. After receipt of the cheque, the same was handed over to a resident of Manimajra, S K Kalia, and that the cheque was subsequently handed over to the complainant.

The forum observed that the complainant was dissatisfied with the compromise arrived at between the two parties and that the cheque received for the compromise in the Lok Adalat, issued in favour of the complainant, has not been received by him. Further, the identity and relation of S K Kalia, the man to whom the advocate claimed to send the cheque, with the complainant, had not been explained in the reply, and neither was the receipt of it produced.

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