How a woman in Kerala practiced law without an actual degree?

Politics Aug 13, 2021

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Sessy Xavier,  from Alappuzha (Aleppey) district in Kerala, claims to be a female lawyer who has been practicing law for 2 years. Having appeared as an advocate several times, even as an advocate commissioner appointed by the state in a few matters, she contested the Bar Association Election and got elected as the librarian.  According to Live Law, she also did an internship in a well-known lawyer’s office in Alappuzha where she claimed to be a final year L.L.B. student. Additionally, she claimed that she is indeed listed with the bar council and in March 2019 applied to get into  Alappuzha Bar Association. She had been working in the Alappuzha District Headquarters i.e. almost over 10 courts, for the last 2.5 years.

However, it seems that her claims had been just that. Somehow, she had managed to fool the legal system and managed to practice without an L.L.B. degree or being enrolled with the bar council. On the 15th of July, an anonymous tip to the Bar Association claimed that Sessy Xavier had neither an L.L.B degree nor an enrollment certificate. This claim turned out to be true as the Kerala Bar Council informed the authorities of the Bar Association that the enrollment number given by Sessy Xavier (K/1177/2018) belonged to another advocate, who was practicing at Thiruvananthapuram. In order to become a member of the association, an enrolment certificate ( the address of which is later verified) and a membership fee is required.

Somehow though, Sessy’s fake document missed everyone’s attention. A complaint has been filed by the Thiruvananthapuram Bar Association on the ground that the Alapuzha Bar Association was misusing an enrolment number belonging to it. As the deception came into light, her membership was swiftly terminated and the issue was also brought to the District judge’s notice. The complaint against her at the local police station states that she also abused her position as the librarian by stealing certain books and documents in the library.

Sessy applied to the court to get her bail on July 23rd. Unfortunately for her, she was booked by the Alappuzha police for sections like 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) which is a non-bailable offense. It has been reported that she fled from the court as soon as she learned that fact. As far as we know, the police are still trying to track down her whereabouts.

This isn’t the first time someone would have fooled our legal framework. Despite the uncanny resemblance of this incident to a movie or a soap opera, it is undeniably real. Furthermore, this raises questions on the credibility of the “protectors of the constitution”.

But as it is said - to err is to be human, even our legal system should not be exempt from that. After all, it was us who made it.

What are your views on it? Whose fault was it? How did she manage to fool people for over 2 years?

This article has been written by Ruchi Thakur for The Paradigm

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