Architects Act does not prohibit firms from providing architectural services: HC

In what is likely to affect architects across the country, the Delhi High Court recently scrapped a rule mandating companies to seek approval of the Council of Architecture (COA) before providing architectural services.

Justice Rekha Palli observed that the Architects Act only prohibits the use of the title and style of ‘architect’ by unregistered persons or companies.

However, the Act does not prevent unregistered persons, including Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), from rendering architectural services or mentioning the same as one of their objectives in their memorandum, the judge noted.

The HC quashed three circulars issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in October 2011, March 2012 and May 2013, which prohibit the incorporation of companies that include rendering of architectural services as one of their objectives without an approval from the COA.


Justice Palli made an analogy of the Architects Act with Advocates Act and Chartered Accountants Act to point out that the Architects Act does not contain any prohibitory provisions similar to the ones in the former two. The Advocates Act and Chartered Accountants Act include specific provisions laying down as to who can practice as an advocate or accountant.

However, the Architects Act neither prescribes that only registered architects can provide architectural services, nor contains any clause prohibiting companies and LLPs from providing architectural services, the judge said.