SC sets aside Punjab & Haryana HC order upholding Bar Association (Constitution and Registration) Rules, 2015

SC sets aside Punjab & Haryana HC order upholding Bar Association (Constitution and Registration) Rules, 2015

Supreme Court has set aside the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court dated August 4, 2015, wherein Bar Association (Constitution and Registration) Rules, 2015 framed by the Bar Council of Punjab & Haryana were upheld by consent between the parties.

The Court ruled that the order of the High Court was passed without hearing the parties and in violation of principles of natural justice. It observed that the order of the High Court, passed on the basis of consent, was bad in law, as consent does not bind all the Bar Associations of Haryana & Punjab who were not even a party to the litigation before the High Court.

The Court was hearing a Petition filed by the President and Vice President of the Rohtak Bar Association and Secretary, President and Vice President of the Panipat District Bar Association. A notice was issued in the matter by apex court last month. You may read the LiveLaw story here.

The Petitioners had challenged the High Court judgment on the ground that the consensus acknowledge by the High Court was invalid and void as they were not heard before rendering the decision.

The High Court had ruled that wherever election to the Bar Association has been held before 11.05.2015, the elected office bearers would hold office till fresh elections are held as per the 2015 Rules. The Petition hence alleges that their election to the office of the Bar Associations of Rohtak and Panipat was being ‘terminated’ without even arraying them as a party or calling upon them to reply by holding that “the elected body will ceased to function and in their place an ad hoc body will be elected by the Bar Association under the supervision of the Bar Council.”

They further challenged the 2015 Rules as being ultra vires the Constitution of India and the Advocates Act, 1961. It questions whether State Bar Council holds power under the Advocates Act to regulate District Bar Associations and whether such framing of rules violates Fundamental Rights provided under Article 19(1) (c) of the Constitution of India.