Delhi HC, SCBA, and Ashok Arora
Delhi HC, SCBA, and Ashok Arora
Litigation News

Is mediation by a retired Supreme Court judge acceptable? Delhi HC asks Ashok Arora, SCBA

The Court was hearing Arora's challenge to his removal from the post of Secretary, Supreme Court Bar Association.

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court today asked Advocate Ashok Arora and the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) if they were open to mediation by a retired Supreme Court judge to settle their dispute (Ashok Arora vs SCBA).

"It is acceptable, provided someone decides in a couple of days", Arora said as he informed the Court that the tenure of the present office-bearers comes to an end of December 10.

Appearing for SCBA, Senior Advocate Arvind Nigam said he would seek instructions on this aspect.

A Single Judge Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta was hearing Arora's challenge to his removal from the post of Secretary of the SCBA.

"After all, this is between the members", the Court said, indicating that the challenge may then be disposed of.

Following Arora's call for an Emergent General Meeting to remove Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave from the post of SCBA President, the Executive Council of SCBA had suspended Arora from the position of the Secretary with immediate effect.

Arora subsequently moved the High Court challenging the resolution. Last month, the High Court issued notice to SCBA and the Bar Council of India (BCI), and directed them to file their written statement in three weeks.

Today, Arora sought an interim stay on his ouster. He contended that his removal was void ab initio, as it was in violation of Rule 35 of the SCBA Rules.

He pointed out that as per Rule 35, the power to suspend or expel a member was with the General House of the Association and same had to be decided after an inquiry into a complaint of misconduct is carried out by a committee.

The Executive Committee, as was done in the present case, has no power to suspend or expel a member, he said.

Arora further argued that "all principles of natural justice were thrown to the wind" as the resolution on his removal was passed under the signatures of the "interested parties" such as the Joint Secretary, Treasurer etc.

Referring to the letters written by certain members of the Executive Committee to Senior Advocate Kailash Vasdev, Arora also alleged that the minutes were not correctly recorded, and that in spite of the purported recusal of Dave, he continued to control the meeting.

"Electorate cannot be betrayed, which is the most important issue in this case", Arora submitted.

After hearing Arora at length, the Court proceeded to adjourn the hearing to September 7.

SCBA and Bar Council of India are expected to begin their submissions on the next date.

Arora has also filed a defamation suit against Dave, citing "mental torture" against him right from the time he was elected the Secretary of the SCBA.

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