Privilege Over Lawyer and Client Communications…

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The Bombay High Court has reiterated that communications between a lawyer and client are privileged and cannot be disclosed to a third party without the express consent of the client.

Brief facts

The Petitioner, a Senior Advocate of the Bombay High Court, challenged a witness summons issued to him directing him to appear before the Civil Court, Pune and: (a) produce an office copy of a legal opinion prepared by him for his client, and (b) confirm his signature on the opinion to prove the existence and contents of it. The Petitioner filed a Writ Petition to quash the summons.

Arguments before the Bombay High Court

The Petitioner contended that the opinion was a professional communication which was protected under §126 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872 and privilege could only be waived by express consent of the client. The Petitioner said that he did not have his client’s consent to waive privilege, and that consent could not be obtained as his client had passed away.

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