7 Jan 2022 10:22 AM GMT
The Supreme Court Bar Association has written to the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana expressing anguish at the non-consideration of several pending issues of the Bar.Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, President of SCBA in his letter addressed to the CJI and the 5 senior most Judges of the Supreme Court has requested that an urgent audience be granted to the Executive Committee of SCBA to...
The Supreme Court Bar Association has written to the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana expressing anguish at the non-consideration of several pending issues of the Bar.
Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, President of SCBA in his letter addressed to the CJI and the 5 senior most Judges of the Supreme Court has requested that an urgent audience be granted to the Executive Committee of SCBA to discuss the issues and necessary action be taken at the earliest.
"We are now getting a feeling that the SCBA, since it has never resorted to strike in its history, is not being given its due importance." the letter states
According to the Association, the following issues are pending consideration by the Court:
Elevation of SCBA Members: The letter has stated that the CJI had taken up the issue of elevation of members of SCBA to various High Courts and the SCBA had constituted a very credible Search Committee to identify names for consideration for elevation. The 48 names were identified and were handed over to the CJI.
According to SCBA, the Collegiums of the high courts are in the process of recommending names for elevation and its entire exercise will be futile if the respective collegiums were to recommend names for elevation without having before them the names of the members of SCBA.
"The entire exercise was also to bring more transparency in the exercise of appointment to the Higher Judiciary which is repeatedly being alleged to be under a cloak of secrecy. As per our information, none of the names suggested by the Search Committee have been considered by any of the High Court Collegium." the letter states.
Allotment of Chambers:
Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, President of SCBA in his letter has stated that a decision had been taken by the earlier Executive Committee along with the Judges Committee to change the partition walls of the chambers so as to make 3 chambers out of 2 for the purposes of single allotment. However, inspite of the Association's repeated request, the final chamber allotment list was not prepared in a time bound manner.
"We have been corresponding with the Registry to find out the progress of work in terms of the decision of last Executive Committee and we were told that no work has started to re-design the same. We were also trying to get the allotment list to find out if we could request members to chose their partners from the list and make the allotment to the chamber as it exists today without any alteration but that effort also could not fructify due to delay in finalising the list." the letter reads
Extra Space For Association:
The letter has stated that the Association has been asking for extra space to provide for a more proximate library, a lunch room and rooms for the President and Secretary of SCBA in the annexe building in front of Court No. 11 which was verbally assured to us by the then CJIDipak Misra however till date no action has been taken in this regard.
" The present lunch room is a dingy small room where many Senior Advocates and Advocates practicing in this court have lunch and it is sad that so much of additional space was made available to the Supreme Court in the Pragati Vihar area which resulted in moving out large number of office from the present building but no commensurate place was allotted to SCBA." the letter has pointed out.
Auditorium & Meeting rooms Functions/meetings of SCBA: Mr Singh has stated that since the beginning of his present tenure, he has been requesting for making available the Auditorium and the meeting rooms for the functions/meetings of SCBA but the same has been denied without any justification.
Further if has been pointed out that though the additional land was made available due to the persistence of the SCBA which had filed a petition in that behalf for the removal of Appu Ghar and giving the additional land to the Supreme Court, neither was SCBA given any additional space in the existing building and 'to add insult to injury SCBA was debarred from using the Auditorium.
According to Mr Singh, while several letters have been written on the issue of debarment from using Auditorium, verbal assurances have been given yet no decision has been taken on the same
The Letter has stated that SCBA had repeatedly indicated that the present system of virtual hearing is not at all acceptable to the Bar especially the feature of advocates not having the right to Mute/unmute themselves.
Further, it has been stated the software used by the Supreme Court has been upgraded several times and with technological advancement, it is clearly not possible that feature to enable lawyers to mute and unmute themselves cannot be incorporated in the virtual hearing of Supreme Court when the same is available in the virtual hearing of all the high courts across the country.
Non-Listing Of Matters Even On Mentioning:
The letter has pointed out that large number of matters are not being listed inspite of mentioning and for some unknown reasons, a lot of category of matters are not being listed for preliminary hearing.
In this regard, SCBA's demand is that all matters filed should be listed strictly on the basis of date of filing and the bar should always have the right to make an urgent mentioning for listing of matters.
Applications From Senior Advocates For Senior Designation Not Called:
The letter has stated that inspite of SCBA's request, no steps have been takenin the last 2.5 years to call for applications from advocates for senior designation even though the 'Committee for Designation of Senior Advocate' is obliged to meet at least twice in a calendar year.
Construction Of Addittional Lawyers Chambers: According to the letter, the SCBA has been requesting for expediting the construction of additional lawyers' chambers in 1.33 Acres of land allotted to the Supreme Court of India behind petrol pump near ITO. However till date no steps have been taken in this regard and the said land is lying vacant.
Click here to read/download the letter