Ludhiana Bar Election Has To Be Rescheduled As Voters' List Not Yet Ready : P&H Bar Council Tells Supreme Court
On Thursday, the State Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana informed the Supreme Court, that the District Ludhiana the Bar Council election programme which is proposed to be conducted on 16th December, 2022 ought to be rescheduled in view of the fact that the State Bar Council is yet to finalise the voters' list.
The matter was mentioned by an applicant who had filed an application for stay of the elections before a Bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and A.S. Oka. The matter was taken on Board and notice was issued.
The applicant submitted that on 15.09.2022, the State Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana issued the notification for the elections of 2022-2023. He contended that the same was in violation of Rule 6(B)(i) of the Bar Associations (Constitution and Registrations) Rules, 2015.
On 12th July, 2022 the Apex Court had issued notice to the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana in a plea alleging that elections are held in the District Bar Association, Ludhiana without complying with the provisions of the 2015 Bar Associations (Constitution and Registration) Rules, with the voters' list comprising non-advocates and others without any voting rights. While issuing notice it was indicated that a proper voters' list is to be drawn and the election is to take place in accordance with the said list. The Counsel for the applicant apprised the Bench that till date the voters' list has not been finalised and the upcoming Bar Council election is to take place on the basis of the previous voters' list.
The Counsel for the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana being present in Court accepted the notice and submitted that with regard to only the District of Ludhiana the voters' list has not yet been published. He further submitted that the Council was to decide the objections to the draft voters' list by 30th of November. But, the list with objections came to the Bar Council on 30th November. He assured the Bench that the State Bar Council is in the process of finalising the voters' list. However, he conceded that the elections programme with respect to Ludhiana has to be rescheduled, so that the dates fixed are in consonance with the time period for finalising the list.
The matter is to be next taken up in the first week of January, 2023.
[Case Title: Sukhwinder Singh Bhatia v. Bar Council of Punjab & Haryana And Ors. SLP(C) No. 8414/2022]