The Kerala High Court has ordered the Indian Railways to consider the identity cards issued to lawyers by the Bar Council as a valid proof of identity while undertaking a train journey. The HC has further asked the Railways to release appropriate orders notifying its direction as swiftly and diligently as possible.
The HC has passed the order while hearing a plea where the Indian Railways had rejected to consider lawyers identity card as a valid identity proof by giving faulty reasons. The Railway authority had rejected the request of the petitioner to accept lawyer’s identity proof on the grounds that Bar Councils are not a government body and lawyer’s identity cards are allotted at various levels in the country, i.e. district, state, national.
The Court has however rejected the view taken by the Railways and has stated that the submissions of the Railways are incorrect and unsustainable. In this regard, the HC has stated that there is only one respective Bar Council at the state and the national level, and it has been held earlier that Bar Councils are a statutory body established under the Advocates Act which enables them to ensure the validity of any document issued by them.
Thus, the Court has directed the Indian Railways to accept lawyer’s Identity cards as a valid proof for undertaking a rail journey and has also stated that the Indian Railways are at liberty to examine the genuineness of the identity cards issued to lawyers by respective Bar Councils.