Monday, 26 September 2011

SCBA elections : Supreme Court rules in favour of one bar one vote

In a matter relating to voting rights of Supreme Court Bar Association, the Supreme Court had ruled in favour of the rule ''one bar one vote''.

Accordingly, members wanting to vote in SCBA elections shall have to give an undertaking that they will not vote in any other bar association in India.

A bench of Justice J M Panchal and Justice H L Gokhale has divided bar members in three categories namely 1. Members of SCBA pracrticing in Supreme Court 2. Members of SCBA but not practicing in Supreme Court and 3. Members practicing in the Supreme Court but not having regular membership of SCBA also known as temporary members.

The apex court also passed the order appointing a three member committee to execute the court's order. The committee shall comprise of senior advocates K K Venugopal, P P Rao and Ranjit Kumar.

Now the committee shall see which member of the bar falls in which category and according to the order only regular members who are practicing in Supreme Court shall have the voting rights. Members from rest of the two categories shall not have the powet to vote although they will be able to use other facilities like library etc.

The issue of one bar one vote arose when in 2003, the SCBA passed a resolution that anyone wanting to vote in SCBA elections shall not vote in any other bar association elections. This was challenged by one BD Kaushik in Tis Hazari court and the Tis Hazari court had issued an injunction staying the resolution passed by Supreme Court Bar Association.

The order of civil judge dated 5th April 2003 was challenged in SLP filed in Supreme Court. The Supreme Court stayed the injunction order and the matter was pending since then.

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