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BCI issues show-cause notice to SCBA President Dushyant Dave, other officer bearers on why disciplinary action should not be taken

Shruti Mahajan

The Bar Council of India (BCI) issues show-cause notice to Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Dushyant Dave and other office bearers as to why disciplinary action should not be initiated against them under Sections 35 and 36 of the Advocates Act.

The BCI in its resolution has decided to issue show cause notices to SCBA President Dushyant Dave, Acting Secretary of the SCBA, Advocate Rohit Pandey, Advocate Ritu Bhardwaj from the Executive Committee and other members of the Executive Committee (EC) of the SCBA as to why no disciplinary action should be taken against them under the provisions of the Advocates Act read with BCI Rules.

This decision comes in the wake of the SCBA returning the BCI's resolution of May 10 through which the Council had stayed SCBA EC's resolution which suspended Advocate Ashok Arora from the position of Secretary.

The SCBA, while returning the resolution had stated that the SCBA was an independent institution and the BCI does not have any jurisdiction or power over the SCBA or any other Bar Association in the country.

The BCI says, it is pained over this development since the decision of the BCI was to place the issue concerning suspension of Arora back to the SCBA's general body on the grounds that the SCBA EC solely was not empowered to remove an office bearer from the post after the said office bearer was elected by the general body.

Not only was BCI's resolution returned but "derogatory, defamatory, abusive or filthy" words were allegedly used by Dave and by Pandey in the letter sent to the BCI, the Council says.

Certain comments were exchanged between Advocate Ritu Bhardwaj and other members of the SCBA EC against the BCI, it is further stated in the minutes of the BCI resolution. In this regard, the BCI says,

"...(These comments) betray a clear and hostile design of these members of the Executive Committee to disregard, defame, and flout the most innocuous and reasonable directions contained in Bar Council of India's unanimous resolution dated 10.05.2020, which was passed, keeping in view the dignity and prestige of the Supreme Court Bar Association."

The BCI says that it is its view that Dave, Pandey, Bhardwaj and other EC members have prima facie committed acts of misconduct under Sections 35 and 36 of the Advocates Act read with the BCI Rules.

They have used derogatory, defamatory and /or filthy words and have acted in most improper, unlawful and indecent manner which cannot be said to be befitting to their status as Advocates. This can never be a gentleman's behaviour as expected from an Advocate under the Advocates Act, 1961 or under the Bar Council of India Rules.
BCI resolution

It is further added by the BCI that it acted fully within its powers and jurisdiction in the resolution of May 10 by referring the question of Arora's suspension to the SCBA general body.

The BCI, therefore, issued the show-cause notices to the EC members including Dave and Pandey. The BCI Chairman Manan Kuman Mishra did not participate in this meeting concerning the SCBA given that Mishra is a member and voter of the SCBA.

Read Resolution:

BCI Resolution on show cause notice.pdf
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