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Rift between SCBA President and Secretary; Dave absents himself from Eqbal J. farewell
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Rift between SCBA President and Secretary; Dave absents himself from Eqbal J. farewell

Murali Krishnan

The farewell function of Supreme Court judge Justice MY Eqbal has brought to fore certain unpleasant issues within the Executive Committee of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA). Surprisingly, it was Chief Justice Thakur’s remarks during the function that confirmed the unconfirmed rumours that have been doing rounds in the Supreme Court corridors.

Things were quiet with the SCBA since the new Executive Committee took charge in December 2015. There were rumours that all was not well between the President Dushyant Dave and Secretary Gaurav Bhatia.

When the farewell function of Justice MY Eqbal began today in Supreme Court lawns, Dushyant Dave’s absence was conspicuous. Dave is usually in the thick of the things during such functions and also occupies the dias in his capacity as the President of the SCBA.

Things became clearer when the Chief Justice started giving his speech. He praised the new pandal and decorations for the function and then said that “something is missing” in a veiled reference to Dave’s absence.

He then said that Dave had written a letter to him yesterday saying that he would not be attending the farewell function owing to some personal reasons. He also said that he understands that there are differences between the President and Secretary of the SCBA.

“Both Dave and Bhatia are very dynamic persons. Maybe the dynamism might be the reason for this…

I hope this is nothing serious and I will be very happy if this is sorted out so that the occasion becomes more congenial and the solemnity of the occasion is not vitiated”, said Justice Thakur.

Speaking to Bar & Bench, SCBA President Dushyant Dave said that,

“I am deeply disappointed about the whole affair and unhappy that I could not attend the farewell; but it was on principle.”

Dave, however, declined to comment further on the issue.

Bhatia was unavailable for comment at the time of publishing the story.

The previous Executive Committee of the SCBA had actively engaged with the Bar on various issues while not shying away from standing up to the Bench. The Committee had also played a pro-active role by taking up various issues faced by the lawyers and the Supreme Court.

Image of Gaurav Bhatia taken from here.