In another major rap to the bodies regulating law and legal profession, the Allahabad High Court has come down upon the Chairperson and Secretary of the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh for dereliction of duty in holding elections to the State Bar Council..A Bench of Justices Tarun Agarwala and Ashok Kumar berated Chairperson Anil Pratap Singh and Secretary Ram Jeet Singh Yadav for attempting to re-schedule the elections to the State Bar council..The High Court’s observations seemed to have worked for now as the Chairperson has undertaken to hold the elections on the scheduled date, i.e. tomorrow. The elections will be held under the watch of an Officer on Special Duty appointed by the High court..Elections to the posts of Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and certain other posts of the Bar Council of UP were announced for July 16. However, two members of the Bar Council indicated their inability to attend the meeting on July 16 and based on their representation, the Chairperson issued an order on July 12 adjourning the election that was to be held on July 16..A petition was filed in the High Court with the Chairperson and Secretary of the Bar council as parties. The Court allowed early hearing of the case and when the case came up for hearing yesterday, the Chairperson and Secretary/ Election Officer were not present. The Court directed the advocate Ashutosh Dwivedi, who was appearing for the Bar Council of UP and the Chairperson, to take necessary instructions from the Chairperson and the Secretary of the Bar Council..Dwivedi informed the Court that the Chairperson was out of station as he had gone to Bulandshahar. He further submitted that Dr. Ram Jeet Singh Yadav, the Secretary/Election Officer was on leave from July 13 to 16 on the ground of illness..The Court then intervened to verify the veracity of the submissions. First, it sent Ashish Kumar Srivatava, the Registrar (Protocol) to visit the office of the Bar Council and submit a report. The officer went to the Bar Council office and orally reported that neither the Chairman nor the Secretary were in the office..The Court also directed the petitioner’s advocate to send Whatsapp message to the Chairman and Secretary of the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh requesting their presence in court today. The same was also unsuccessful..“We had further directed Sri Siddharth Nandan, the learned counsel assisting Sri T.P. Singh, the learned Senior Advocate for the petitioner to send “WhatsApp message” to the Chairman, Sri Anil Pratap Singh and Dr. Ram Jeet Singh Yadav, Secretary/the Election Officer on their mobile requesting them to appear before the Court today. We also find that notices of the petition were duly served to the Chairman as well as to the Election Officer on their mobile by the petitioners as well as on the e-mail address of the Chairman and Secretary of the Bar Council of U.P. In spite of service of notices, respondents no. 4 and 5 have failed to appear or give instructions to their counsel.”.The Court then rebuked the Chairperson and Secretary in strong words for what it considered as an attempt to “scuttle” the election..“Once an election programme has been issued, the election can not be scuttled. In the present case, it is apparently clear that the Chairman, who primafacie has no authority in law to scuttle the election which is scheduled to be held on 16.07.2017. We also find it strange that the Election Officer, who is under a duty to conduct an election has not issued any order till date for postponing the election. The Election Officer is requested to conduct the election, but we find that the Election Officer has taken leave till 16.07.2017. This leads to an irresistible presumption that he will not be present to conduct the election of the Chairman, Vice Chairman, etc. on 16.7.2017. This clearly indicates the dereliction of duty at his behest.”.It also observed that the conduct of Chairperson and Secretary has given rise to a disastrous situation whereby stakeholders are left wondering about the state of the Bar Council of UP..“A disastrous situation have arisen whereby the conduct of two persons are making the stakeholders wonder as to what kind of Bar Council they have in the State of U.P.”.The Court then adjourned the matter for today while asking the counsel for the Chairperson to ensure the presence of Chairperson in the court..When the matter was taken up today, Chairperson Anil Pratap Singh was present and he submitted that the election would be held as per schedule i.e. on July 16. He also told that prior to the elections, a meeting of the House of the Bar Council is required to be held to decide certain issues and that he will try to hold the meeting on the same date..The Court agreed and also entrusted Anoop Kumar Goel, Officer on Special Duty at the High Court to act as an observer and submit a report to the Court in respect of conduct of the meeting and the election..“We appoint Sri Anoop Kumar Goel, O.S.D. (J) (Enquiry), High Court Allahabad as an observer and shall submit a report to the Court in respect of conduct of the meeting and the election. In the event, the observer finds any apprehension of breach of peace, he would request the Senior Superintendent of Police, Allahabad to provide the necessary police force. The Chairman, Bar Council of U.P. as well as the Secretary and members of the Bar Council will accord necessary courtesy to the observer appointed by the Court.”.The matter has now been listed for hearing on July 19..Read the two orders of the High Court below.