Delhi High Court had denied interim protection to Mr. Hari Shankar Singh, the Chairman of Uttar Pradesh State Bar Council who had been restrained from performing his duties by the Bar Council of India.
Brief Facts of the Case
Hari Shankar Singh and Darvesh Yadav received 12 votes each in the election of the Chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Bar Council. They had mutually agreed to hold the post for 6 months each, in which Yadav opted for the first half and Singh for the second. Unfortunately, the Agra Court premises saw Yadav’s murder by a fellow lawyer Manish Babu Sharma. Manish shot himself as well. Yadav expired on the spot whereas Manish was battling for his life at a private hospital.
The ‘House’ after several procedures and deliberations, elected Mr. Hari Shankar Singh as the Chairman. Hari Singh had opened a separate joint bank account with an unauthorized clerk and diverted the amount collected as enrolment fee in that account without any authority from the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh.
Therefore, the Bar Council of India restrained him from exercising his authority as the Chairman through an order dated 15.05.2020. He thus filed a petition at the Supreme Court which got disposed of for BCI to decide.
Therefore, the petitioner had filed a writ petition challenging the impugned order of BCI dated 15.05.2020.
The Petitioner alleged that respondent no. 2 passed the Impugned Order without authorization from the respondent no. 1. The Petitioner argued that the respondent no. 1 did not have the jurisdiction to pass an order to remove or restrain the Chairman of the State Bar Council from acting in the capacity.
The learned Senior Counsel had submitted that the general power of issuance of directions in Section 48-B of the Advocates Act, 1961 did not extend to restrict the Chairman of the State Bar Council from discharging his duties.
The learned counsel for the respondent had submitted that the power to restrain was vested in the respondents under Section 7(1)(d) and 7(1)(g) of the Act and Rule 12(D)(18), Part II of the Bar Council of India Rules. He had submitted that the term of the petitioner as Chairman was complete as on 08.06.2020, and fresh elections were to take place on 05.07.2020. Moreover, Respondent no. 1 ratified the decision of Respondent no. 2 in its meeting held on 17.05.2020.
The Counsel further submitted that 13 out of 24 members of the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh had complained against the petitioner and this was of a serious nature. He referred to the order of the Supreme Court in Hari Shankar Singh vs Bar Council of India & Anr., and submitted that the SC had declined to entertain the petition as the remedy for the petitioner would be to approach the BCI to remove the Impugned Order.
The counsel specified that the petitioner had been granted time to reply to the allegations made against him and all the submissions and documents had been supplied to the petitioner via email.
A Single Judge Bench of Justice Navin Chawla had been set up and the hearing was through video conferencing. Mr. Preetpal Singh, advocate on behalf of the Respondents accepted the notice of the Court. The Court granted his prayer for four weeks to file counter affidavit.
The Court held that as the elections for the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh are scheduled on 05.07.2020, no cases for passing an Interim Order for protection are there at this stage. The Court held that the Petitioner had the liberty to respond to the allegations made in the Impugned Order.
The Court further held that any such representation of the Petitioner should be expeditiously considered by the Bar Council of India. This should be within two weeks from the receipt and a Speaking Order passed. If aggrieved, the Petitioner shall challenge the order according to the law. The Court would take up this case of Hari Shankar Singh vs. Bar Council of India & Anr. on 3rd September 2020.
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