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Punjab & Haryana High Court Stays Sohna Bar Association's 'Arbitrary' Cancellation Of Chambers' Allotment

Jyoti Prakash Dutta
25 Jan 2023 11:32 AM GMT
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The Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed the cancellation of the chambers that had been allotted to some young members of the Sohna Bar Association in Gurgaon in April 2022.

Hearing a petition challenging the decision, Justice Vinod Bhardwaj issued notice to the high court's Building Committee (Haryana) and Bar Association Sohna. The court listed the matter for hearing on May 08.

“In the meanwhile, the cancellation of chambers allotted to the petitioners shall remain stayed till the next date of hearing," Justice Bhardwaj said in the order passed on January 23.

Senior Advocate Sumeet Goel, appearing for the 11 petitioners, earlier argued that allotment of chambers has been arbitrarily cancelled by the bar association.

In the petition filed through advocate Tanmoy Gupta, it has been alleged that the allotment of lawyers’ chambers on the third floor of the already existing court building, has been arbitrarily cancelled by the freshly elected Executive body of the Bar Association.

According to the petition, the construction for new the Court building started in 2016. Thereafter, necessary permissions were obtained for setting up chambers for lawyers inside the Court premises. Though approval for 159 chambers was received, 119 chambers were built in the first instance and were duly allotted to some lawyers following the method of draw of lots.

Subsequently, as the strength of the Bar increased gradually, more chambers were required to accommodate the practising lawyers. Therefore, permission was sought from the High Court to construct additional 40 chambers. The Registrar General, on behalf of the High Court, accorded the permission and asked to construct the same on the third floor of the existing lawyers’ block.

Applications were then invited for allotment of 40 new chambers. It was proposed that two lawyers will be allotted a single chamber, so as to accommodate 80 practising lawyers in the newly built chambers. Accordingly, allotments were made.

The elections for Bar Associations of the State were held in December 2022. After the elections, a fresh executive body took over the Sohna Bar Association. The petition before the court alleges that the newly elected body attempted to undo the decisions made by the previous body as a sign of vengeance and rivalry.

It further states that the body cancelled the allotment of chambers made to the petitioners in an utterly arbitrary manner, without even calling for a general body meeting and without taking permission of the majority. The resolution for the impugned cancellation was passed on 09.01.2023, but no agenda was set in this regard nor it was circulated among the members of the Bar, according to the petition.

“…the present petitioners are young lawyers who have been allotted the chambers and who are practicing for the same in Sohna District Courts and who are not at fault at any point of time whatsoever with regard to the allotment of the chambers in question, have been made scapegoats in the fight of powers to the posts of the respondent no. 2 [the Sohna Bar Association],” the petition states.

Case Title: Pushpender & Ors. v. The Hon’ble Building Committee & Ors.

Case No.: CWP No. 1341 of 2023

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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