Five nuns, two priests enrol as advocates
TIMES OF INDIA 21 May 2006
KOCHI: After winning the legal battle to practise law, ">five nuns and two priests in Kerala on Sunday enroled as advocates.
The Kerala High Court had in November permitted priests and nuns to enrol as advocates and practise law while a division bench on March 21 upheld the single judge's order, saying that a complete ban on their entry into the profession would be "illegal".
For Sister Tina Jose, one of the petitioners, and the other nuns and priests, the donning of robes of the legal profession was a dream come true.
The Bar Council of India had objected to their enrolment, claiming that priesthood and nunhood were professions.
However, rejecting this contention, the division bench held that nunhood and priesthood were not professions and that being part of the "clergy -- be it a priest or nun -- would not bar their entry into the profession as created under the Bar Council rules".
The bench had observed that several nuns and priests were engaged in different professions like teaching and nursing. "A complete ban of entry into the legal profession to a class of clergymen will be wholly illegal". Being a priest or nun was not a disqualification for appointment to a government or a private job, the court had pointed out.
At least 300 other new entrants to the profession, including newly elected MLA from Kanjirapally and former IAS officer Alphonse Kannamthanam, were among those who enroled as lawyers at the function.