Chief Justice dismisses application; orders lawyer’s name be struck out of practitioners roll

Haroon Ali Shah outside the Lautoka Magistrates Court earlier this year. Picture: REINAL CHAND/FILE

Chief Justice Kamal Kumar has ruled that Lautoka-based Haroon Ali Shah cannot become a legal practitioner.

Mr Shah was charged with nine counts of professional misconduct and unprofessional conduct in 2011 and 2012.

He was found guilty of charges laid by the Commissioner for Independent Legal Services Commission and the Chief Registrar was ordered to strike his name from the Roll of Legal Practitioners.

Justice Kumar said Mr Shah misappropriated funds held on behalf of a client.

“In simple terms, it means he stole Sashi Lata’s money,” the January 14 ruling said.

“Members of the community who entrusts the legal practitioner, do so on the understanding that the legal practitioner is an honourable person who would act honestly for his/her client’s benefit and interest.

“Legal practitioners who receive money in their Trust Account on behalf of their client are required to pay out the money for the purpose it was received, and not otherwise, unless and until the person on whom behalf monies are held instruct the legal practitioner to do so.

“An act of dishonesty as in the present case brings the nobility of the profession and the justice system into question.”

He said Mr Shah had failed to satisfy the court that he was fit to be re-admitted.

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