The Supreme Court has held that only lawyers genuinely and regularly practicing before the concerned court should be permitted to vote in the elections to select office bearers of Bar Associations of such court (Amit Sachan vs. Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow)
Outsiders who are not regularly practicing before the concerned court cannot be permitted to hijack the system by taking part in the election process of electing members of the Bar association, a Bench of Justices MR Shah and AS Bopanna held.
"Office bearers of the Bar Association are to be elected by the genuine voters and the advocates genuinely/regularly practicing in the High Court and/or the Court concerned," the order said.
The Court was hearing a plea against the orders of the Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court passed in a suo moto case arising from the incidents of violent and unruly behaviour by certain lawyers at the Awadh Bar Association which was held on August 14.
The High Court had scrapped the elections and ordered that elections be held afresh.
held that the there was no reason for the Apex Court to interfere with orders that are in furtherance of maintaining the purity of the election.
The petitioners preferred the petition stating that the High Court was not justified in declaring fresh elections since it would be difficult to bring back nearly 4,500 members to vote, especially during the COVID pandemic.
However, the Bench noted that there was no ground for the Supreme Court to interfere with the High Court order since the same was passed to maintain the purity of the Bar elections and in view of the peculiar facts of the case.
Further, the Bench observed that no member of the Bar can be permitted to misbehave within the High Court premises and the conduct of lawyers during the elections cannot be tolerated or accepted.
“The manner in which the lawyers acted and misbehaved on August 14, 2021 in the premises of the High Court, where the election of the Awadh Bar Association was going on, cannot be tolerated and accepted and has to be deprecated.”
The Bench also discussed the judgement of the Supreme Court in R. Muthukrishnan vs. Registrar General, High Court of Judicature at Madras to reiterate the importance of the Bar and their role in the administration of the justice delivery system.
“Role of the Bar in the legal system is significant. The Bar is supposed to be the spokesperson for the judiciary as Judges do not speak. People listen to the great lawyers and people are inspired by their thoughts,” the top court said.
However, the Court refrained from making further observations on the incident since the matter was sub judice.
“As the matter is subjudice before the High Court, we refrain from making further observations on the conduct of the advocates, who misbehaved and that too as stated in the impugned order that even the female lawyers were pushed and some of the candidates alongwith their supporters even misbehaved with them.”