The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) goes to the polls on Thursday, December 12 to elect its President, Vice-President, Secretary, and executive members. The Election Committee of the body today presided over a debate featuring the candidates contesting the SCBA elections..The candidates were allotted a time period of five minutes each to put forth their thoughts and to make their last pitch before the SCBA voters. The end of the debate marked the end of canvassing by the candidates..Some of the common themes touched upon during the Presidential debates were the issue of allotment of chambers and welfare schemes for the members..A total of five candidates are contesting for the post of SCBA President..Senior Counsel Dushyant Dave was the first candidate to take the dais. He made an assurance that he would serve the SCBA with all his commitment and sincerity, and urged the voters to treat this election not as an election, but as a selection of those who can be the voice of the Bar..Dave stated that the main objectives of the SCBA are to uphold the rule of law and to promote the prestige of the body and welfare of its members. He cited the example of a recent incident when the SCBA “sent a strong message to the Bench” by holding a general body meeting to discuss the conduct of the judges towards members of the Bar..The former SCBA President also spoke about the past achievements of the Association as regards the expansion of the Bar room, the Ladies Bar room, and the litigants’ canteen. He also added that there are several other issues that affect the members of the Bar on a daily basis like parking, chamber allotment, and expansion of libraries, among others..Advocate Bharat Bhushan Dinkar was the second candidate to speak. He is a trained mediator and arbitrator and a life member of the International Mediation Centre of Singapore and International Centre for Arbitration in the US..He argued that only a few members were benefitting from the present scheme for allotment of chambers. He said that the members of the Bar are sick of seeing the same faces being elected as the President of the SCBA and that there is a need for new members to be elected to the position. He said that he would not only upgrade, but also preserve the dignity of the Bar and the Bench..Dinkar too made promises regarding a mechanism for chamber allotment, which he said, needs to have set criteria. He also promised to improve the canteen and library facilities..Next to take the stage was Advocate SL Gupta, who raised the issue of trouble faced by the members of the Bar who often have to juggle between courtrooms that are situated far from one another. He promised to take steps to bring in a mechanism that would ensure that on miscellaneous days, item numbers 1-30 would be taken up before lunch, and item numbers 31 onwards during the post-lunch session..Like the candidates before him, Gupta too said that the canteen facilities need to be upgraded and that the rates need to be subsidized..Senior Counsel Vikas Singh was the penultimate Presidential candidate. He chose to speak about the prestige of the members of the Bar and also invoked two recent incidents in this regard – one of the firing on a lawyer in the Tis Hazari Court, and another of threat of contempt of Court given by a sitting judge to a Senior Advocate..Singh complained that the media portrayed the lawyers’ community in bad light through their selective portrayal of the Tis Hazari events. As regards the contempt threat, Singh said that there needs to be an environment where lawyers can be free and fearless..Singh, who was the SCBA President the year 2018, sounded positive about being able to revive the LIC and other welfare schemes for the members of the Bar should he be elected..The last Presidential candidate was Senior Counsel Ajit Kumar Sinha, who has held the position of SCBA President in the past. He said that he does not believe in blowing one’s own trumpet, but in doing things honourably..Sinha urged the voters to identify which candidates were affordable, approachable, and accessible and said that the members must cast their votes for those who can also “practice what they preach” and do not have “lust for power.”.The election will be conducted on December 12, when all the lawyers whose names have appeared in the voters’ list will be allowed to cast their votes between 9.30 AM and 5 PM in the SCBA Library no. 1. The counting of votes will begin immediately after this..The Election Committee comprises Chairman and Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta along with the members and Senior Advocates Pallav Shishodia, Basava Prabhu Patil, and SB Upadhyay.