In an interim order, the Supreme Court of India has directed the Reserve Bank of India not to allow foreign law firms to open liaison offices in the country. The order was passed on an appeal filed by the Bar Council of India against a February judgment of the Madras High Court that allowed foreign advocates to visit India to offer legal advice to their clients. The bench hearing the appeal said that the Reserve Bank of India shall not grant any permission to foreign law firms to open liaison offices in India under section 29 of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973. It also clarified that under section 29 of the Advocates Act, 1961, the term 'practice' covers consultation, legal drafting and all other non-litigious matters, besides litigious matters.
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