Advocate alleges malpractice in elections to ILI Governing Council; Says ballot papers withheld from “inconvenient members”

Advocate alleges malpractice in elections to ILI Governing Council; Says ballot papers withheld from “inconvenient members”

Murali Krishnan

Allegations have surfaced against the conduct of elections to the Governing Council of the Indian Law Institute (ILI), the results for which were declared on April 4, 2013. Eighty-two year old Janak Raj Jai, an advocate and member of the ILI, has alleged gross misconduct and mismanagement by the Election Sub- Committee in the conduct of the elections as a result of which “the whole team headed by Shri. Rakesh Munjal got the maximum number of votes and were declared elected”.

Jai has raised these allegations in three separate letters to Supreme Court judges and the Chief Justice of India. Two of the letters had been written prior to the declaration of election results, while one is dated subsequent to the counting of votes. Jai has alleged that Senior Advocate Rakesh Munjal, who was then the Vice President of ILI, had influenced the Election Sub-Committee and procured ballot papers. He has also alleged that under the guidance and supervision of Munjal, despatch of ballot papers were withheld to members considered “inconvenient”.

Jai has further alleged a nexus between Munjal and Professor S. Sivakumar, the Member Secretary of Election Sub – Committee and Director In Charge of ILI. He has claimed in one of the letters that since Munjal was defending Sivakumar in the litigation pertaining to Sivakumar’s appointment as Research Professor in ILI, Sivakumar should not have been appointed as the Secretary of the Election Sub-Committee so as to ensure fair and free elections.

Speaking to Bar & Bench, Jai said that “he was very much aggrieved” by the manner of conduct of elections in an institution of which he has been a “part of for the last 40 years”.

In his final letter dated April 3, 2013 and addressed to the Chief Justice of India subsequent to the counting of votes, he has prayed for staying the election process and has sought for the appointment of a commission of inquiry to probe the irregularities and illegalities which have marred the elections.

Speaking to Bar & Bench, Munjal denied all the allegations and said that “the allegations made are not correct”.

Jai has threatened to go on a 48 hour fast if his prayers are not accepted.

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