However, the bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said that foreign lawyers could come to the country and participate in international commercial arbitration.
Justice Goel, while pronouncing the judgement, said that even for the limited purposes they would be subject to the Bar Council of India's Code of Conduct.
The court also said that BPO companies engaged in rendering legal services did not come within the ambit of the Advocate Act and thus they can operate in India.
The court verdict came on pleas challenging judgements by the Bombay and Madras High Courts.
Madras High court had said that foreign lawyers can fly in and fly out for tendering legal advice on foreign laws.