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SC asks J&K HC to submit Bar Council Election Rules within 4 weeks

Apoorva Mandhani
21 Feb 2015 4:10 AM GMT
SC asks J&K HC to submit Bar Council Election Rules within 4 weeks
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A Supreme Court Bench comprising of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel has directed the Registry of Jammu and Kashmir High Court to file an affidavit highlighting the steps undertaken by it for holding State Bar Council elections within four weeks.

The Court was hearing a petition filed by Senior Advocate Prof. Bhim Singh, who has sought the Constitution of the Bar Council of Jammu and Kashmir. The order came as a result of the contention of the respondents that a three-member committee of High Court Judges has been set up to frame the rules for the purpose.

The Bench was further informed that the Committee is expected to produce its report before the Court within a month. Consequently, the Bench said, "Now that you have realized everything and formed a committee for preparing rules for holding election you spell it out.”

The petition has further urged the court to fix a particular date in the month of April to hold for the Bar Council in J&K. The Court however preferred to have a look at the election rules first, before asking for the election of the Bar

The apex Court had earlier in November last year rapped the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir for not holding elections for the State Bar Council for the past 30 years. It questioned the HC for not taking any steps regarding an elected Bar Council in the State.

“The Act came into force [in J&K] in 1986. Till now, you have not framed Rules or done anything. What is your problem? Why are you not constituting a Bar Council? demanded Justice Thakur. You may read the LiveLaw story here.

Prof.Bhim Singh, in his Writ Petition has urged the Supreme Court directing the High Court of J&K to frame rules within the scope of Section 57 & 58 of the Advocates Act, 1961 so that the advocates’ fraternity in J&K may also share the fruits of democracy with the advocates in the rest of the country.

It states, “Further, that the Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir has been functioning as a Chairman of Bar Council of Jammu and Kashmir even since the Advocates Act, 1961 was extended Jammu and Kashmir in the year 1986. So far as per Section 58 of the Advocates Act, 1961 its functions are being performed by this Jammu and Kashmir High Court. It is further been admitted that no rules under the Act has been framed so far. Secondly, the State Bar Councils has not been elected. The Bar Council of Jammu and Kashmir has not been constituted in accordance with the Advocates Act which was extended to Jammu and Kashmir in the year 1986. This is totally violation of fundamental rights of lawyers’ fraternity and thus violating the provisions of Articles 14, 19 and 21 as well as the provisions of the Advocates Act, 1961 because the lawyers’ fraternity has been discriminated and denied their rights to elect their own Bar Council as it has been practice in all other states of India. The lawyers’ fraternity in the Jammu and Kashmir away from sharing their democratic rights at par with the lawyers’ community in all over states amongst to discrimination with the lawyers who have been finding for the civil value of the people and democratic rights of the citizens.” 


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