The Bar Council of India on Friday restrained Hari Shanker Singh, Chairman of the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh from discharging his official duties, after Bar Members leveled serious allegations of misconduct and misappropriation of funds against him.
The BCI has also sought an explanation from the Chairman with regards to the allegations so made.
Singh is accused of opening a Joint Bank Account with a Clerk, without prior sanction of the State Bar Council. As per the allegations, the said account was used to misappropriate the money received by the State Bar Council as enrolment fee.
Further, he is accused of re-instating former Secretary of the State Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh, Ram Jeet Singh, who was suspended from the post for serious misconduct and misappropriation of about Rs. 72 lakh.
The Members of the Bar have alleged that the order for reinstatement of Ram Jeet was passed on May 15, without consulting them. Further, it is pointed out that the order has been passed soon before the expiry of Singh's tenure as the Chairman, indicating "malice". Furthermore, Singh is accused of hindering an all-Member meeting despite requisition of 8 Members, thus indicating that he has adopted wrongful tactics.
Accordingly, the BCI has ordered that Singh is restrained from discharging the functions of the Chairman of State Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh, with immediate effect. The official duties of this position will be discharged by Devendra Mishra Nagraha, Vice-Chairman of the State Bar Council.
Further, operation of all the orders passed by Singh after March 14, 2020, has been stayed and those orders will be placed before the General House of the State Bar Council, when required.
The BCI has also sought an explanation from Singh, with regards to both the primary allegations.
"Mr. Hari Shankar Singh is further requested and directed to explain as to under what circumstances he opened a separate Joint Bank Account along with an unauthorized clerk and diverted the amount collected as enrolment fee in that Account, without getting any authority from the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh.
Mr. Hari Shankar Singh will also explain as to how and why, without getting any authority from the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh, he has passed the illegal order of reinstatement of Mr. Ram Jeet Singh even after having full knowledge of the enquiry report submitted by a former Hon'ble Judge of the High Court against him [where charges of misappropriation of Rs.72 Lakhs (approximately) have been established]," the Council has ordered.
The said explanation has to be submitted to the BCI within a period of ten days.
Singh's tenure as the Chairman of State Bar Council is set to expire on June 8, 2020.
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