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SCBA might go Gandhian; To decide on breaking “judges farewell” tradition

Murali Krishnan

In a surprising move, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has upped the ante and decided to hold a General Body meeting on July 8 to consider and pass resolutions for boycotting all official functions involving judges of the Supreme Court.

Most importantly, the meeting will also consider breaking one the most important traditions of the apex court of the country – the SCBA organising farewell function for the retiring judges.

All these have been revealed in the circular pertaining to a meeting of the Executive Committee held this week. The circular also states that the SCBA might resort to filing a writ petition in the Supreme Court to ensure that SCBA members get all the basic facilities required for their efficient functioning. The trigger for this move is that,

“…Just Requests on Infrastructural Issues, made on behalf of thousands of Lawyers, who are the Members of the Supreme Court Bar Association are not even considered in right earnest, much less granted.”

The following are the resolutions which will be considered in the General Body meeting on July 8.

“1. That Supreme Court Bar Association Resolves that following Mahatma Gandhi’s principle of Non-Cooperation, Members of the Supreme Court Bar Association, will not participate in any Official Functions with Hon’ble Judges of the Supreme Court,   including References, Independence Day and Law Day and further Resolves not to give any Farewell Function to Hon’ble Retiring Judges, till 2nd December 2015 or till such time as our Just Requests, detailed in our various communications dated 15.1.2015, 28.1.2015, 29.01.2015, 04.02.2015, 04.02.2015, 20.02.2015, 14.05.2015, 22.05.2015, which are absolutely necessary in the interests of Members of the Bar, are acceded to, in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

2.The Supreme Court Bar Association further Resolves that if the Just Requests of Bar contained in various communications dated 15.1.2015, 28.1.2015, 29.01.2015, 04.02.2015, 04.02.2015, 20.02.2015, 14.05.2015, 22.05.2015, are not acceded to within two weeks from today, Supreme Court Bar Association will take all such measures as may be available to it, including filing a Writ Petition in Supreme Court, to ensure that its Members get all the basic facilities as are needed, to enable them to perform their duties towards their Clients, to ensure proper Justice to them and to enforce Fundamental Rights, including Right to Life and Livelihood with dignity, to its Members in the Supreme Court of India and calls upon the Members, including distinguished Senior Members of the Bar, to assist and appear on behalf of the Association without fail.”

The circular also states that the SCBA President will be issuing an explanatory note to the members explaining the reasons for this “non-cooperation” so that “proper judgment can be made by the Hon’ble Members to pass the above Resolutions.”

The meeting will be held in the Plaza Canteen at 3 pm and will be restricted to members in the SCBA 2015 voters list.

This is not the first time the SCBA and the Bench have been at loggerheads. Earlier this year, a slew of resolutions were proposed against Chief Justice HL Dattu and Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose demanding respectful treatment of lawyers. Subsequently, the same was called off after Justice Dattu assured co-operation to resolve all the issues plaguing the Bar.

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