An attorney-client privilege is a protection given to the communications that take place between the advocate and his client in the course of their professional relationship. Any person who seeks advice from the advocate or attorney registered under the Advocates Act, would have the benefit of the privilege.
An advocate is not allowed to disclose any information received by the client or the contents of any document used for the purpose of such relationship unless the client allows the advocate to disclose any such information.This privilege continues even after the termination of this professional relationship. However, it does not provide protection to any communication or advice received before the beginning or after the end of the employment, only during.The privilege does not extend to any communication that is made for performing any illegal purpose or if any crime or fraud has been committed by the client after entering in this professional relationship. Further, if the client discloses something to his advocate and the advocate is called as a witness then under such circumstances the advocate can disclose such information. 1
For example, if a client discloses to his lawyer that he wishes to take a bribe for performing his official duties, this communication being made for an illegal purpose will not be covered under the Attorney-client privilege and a lawyer can disclose this information in the court of law.
- The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 ( Act no.1 of 1872), s. 126.