Delhi HC Reserves Order in Ashok Arora's Plea Challenging SCBA's Decision Of Suspending Him
Advocate Ashok Arora has filed a plea to stay his removal from the post of Secretary, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA).
The Call for Removal of the President Led to the Suspension
The controversy began when Mr Arora called for an emergency meeting to remove Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave from the post of SCBA President. Thereafter, the Executive Committee of SCBA passed a resolution to suspend Mr Arora from the position of Secretary with immediate effect.
In the meanwhile, the Bar Council of India (BCI) stayed the resolution passed by the Executive Committee (EC) of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA). Mr Arora filed a plea for a stay on the resolution as an interim measure in Delhi HC.
Advocate Arora claims his ouster was void ab initio
Advocate Arora argued that his ouster was void ab initio because it violated Rule 35 of the SCBA Rules.
He referred to Rule 35 and said that the power to suspend or expel a member rested with the General House of SCBA. The suspension or expulsion has to be decided after an inquiry into a complaint of misconduct is carried out by a committee.
He also alleged that his removal was in contravention of principles of natural justice.
All principles of natural justice followed: SCBA
Senior Advocate Arvind Nigam appeared for the SCBA and responded that the reliance on Rule 35 was misplaced as it only dealt with the issue of removal of a member.
He claimed that there was a vacuum in the SCBA Rules with respect to elected members who "misbehave". He added that there were past precedents on the practice of suspending elected members from SCBA posts.
Countering Arora's arguments, Nigam said that all principles of natural justice were followed in the meeting of the Executive Committee as not only did the President recuse himself from the deliberations, Advocate Arora was also given the chance to present his views and counter-views.
BCI Defends relies on Section 7 of the Advocates Act to defend its stance
Bar Council of India also defended its resolution on staying the removal of Advocate Arora. The Council relied on Section 7 of the Advocates Act and the Supreme Court's judgement in Harish Uppal. Appearing for the Council, Advocate Rajdip Behura said that Bar Council of India had requisite powers to regulate the conduct of advocates.
The Delhi High Court reserved the order after hearing Advocate Arora and Counsel for the Bar Council of India and SCBA.
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