Council bars Hafiz Contractor

Fridays edition of The Times of India reports:

In its letter of March 24, 2009, the council, an autonomous body of the Central government, has ruled that Contractor be suspended from practice for one year “from the date of issue of letter conveying the order’’. During the suspension period, Contractor must surrender the certificate of registration issued to him by the council, and is not permitted to undertake any work.

The council, which is empowered by parliament to take action against erring architects, commenced its inquiry after a complaint against Contractor by Delhi-based architect Sudhir Vohra last year. The complaint related to professional misconduct by Contractor for advertising his work as an architect, his “skills and philosophy as an architect’’ and for proclaiming himself to be “India’s favourite architect’’.

But architects, like many other professionals, including lawyers, chartered accountants and doctors, are not allowed to advertise their services. (emphasis mine)

Why are certain professionals not allowed to advertise? Because their professions are seen as essential to society and so

Update: This post got published by mistake and I did not notice until it was too late. I will finish what I had in mind in a later post.

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2 Responses

  1. # “Because their professions are seen as essential to society and so”
    There is more to it than the ‘essential to society’ part. The ban on professionals advertising their services is actually a result of the guild system and the mindset it engenders.

    Most professions in India are regulated by so called autonomous bodies brought into being by various acts of parliament – the Bar Council of India, the Medical Council of India, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and so on. They thus have a charter that grants them absolute power to decide who is allowed to practice and who isn’t, who’s qualified and who isn’t, and to frame rules to “regulate” the profession. And so the regulations, most of them political in nature, start flowing. The ban on advertising, is one such regulation, because it helps those who are already entrenched in the profession (most clients come though word-of-mouth; this ban makes it the only option, except surrogate advertising through appearance on tv shows etc). And that is its main purpose. The “ethics” argument is just that – an argument.

    But since times are changing, some councils are loosening the restrictions, like the ICAI did. Some perspectives – this IE article talks about the guild w.r.t to the legal and medical professions, this is an explanation from a doctor accused of advertising.

    PS: Is your post complete, or has it been cutoff after “and so…”?

  2. Aristotle,
    Thanks for the links. While I was aware of the existence of these entities (Bar council), I did not know that professionals were barred from advertising.

    And yes, the post is incomplete. It got published by mistake. I will complete what I wanted to say in another post.

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