Unregistered architects cannot build a name for themselves

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The Supreme Court in a recent judgment held that section 37 of the Architects Act, 1972, does not prohibit individuals not registered under the act from taking up the practice of architecture and its related activities.

In the Council of Architecture v Mukesh Goyal case, the court was hearing an appeal against the Allahabad High Court’s verdict, where it was held that section 37 only prohibits unregistered individuals from using the title “architect”.

The high court had held that the Promotion Policy, 2005, which allowed for individuals not holding a degree in architecture being appointed to the Class II post of associate architect, did not contravene section 37 of the Architects Act, as they would be carrying out the activities of an architect. The court held that “mere nomenclature of the particular post will not in any way be said to violate the provisions of the Architects Act, 1971.”

In appeal, the Supreme Court observed that where a plain reading of the text of the statute leads to an absurd or unreasonable meaning, the text of the statute must be construed in light of the object and purpose with which the legislature enacted the statute as a whole.

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