In the case of Ashok Arora v. Supreme Court Bar Association and Anr., The High Court of Delhi rejected a Plea moved by Advocate Ashok Arora on Oct 6. The Plea Challenged the decision of the Executive Committee of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) suspending him from the post of Secretary.
Facts of the Case
SCBA suspended its Secretary Ashok Arora on May 8. The suspension came a day after Arora had called an Emergent General Meeting (EGM) of the lawyers’ body on May 11. In order to discuss the agenda for removing Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave from the post of SCBA, President Arora had alleged that Dave is using the office of SCBA for political purposes. But The Executive Committee (EC) cancelled the proposed EGM. And decided to set up a three-member panel to look into the allegations against Arora.
Hence, Ashok Arora filed a suit challenging his suspension on the ground that his removal by EC of SCBA was in violation of principles of natural justice.
Arguments Before the Court
Advocate Ashok Arora argued that as per Rule 35, the power to suspend or expel a member rested with the General House of SCBA. And the same has to be decided, after an inquiry into a complaint of misconduct, is carried out by a committee. Arora further submitted that his removal by EC was in violation of natural justice.
Senior Advocate Arvind Nigam appeared for SCBA. He contended that the Petitioner’s reliance on Rule 35 was misplaced. As it only dealt with the issue of removal of a member. SCBA further informed that there have been past precedents on the practice of suspending elected members from SCBA posts under Rule 14.
It was also stated that all principles of natural justice were followed in the meeting of the EC. As not only did the President recuse from the deliberations, but the Petitioner was also given the chance to present his views and counter-views.
The Single Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta noted that Ashok Arora failed to establish a prima facie case in his favour. The Court further refused to stay the removal of Ashok Arora from the post of Secretary.
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