New Delhi, May 17 (PTI) The Bar Council of India (BCI), the apex lawyers’ body, on Sunday, issued notices to Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Dushyant Dave and other office bearers for allegedly using “derogatory, defamatory, abusive or filthy words' for the council and its members.
The statement issued by BCI said that it was pained by the fact that a few members of the Executive Committee of SCBA “illegally refused” to comply with its May 10 resolution to stay SCBA’s decision to suspend its Secretary Ashok Arora.
BCI, in its resolution, said that the statements and comments issued by Dave and acting secretary Rohit Pandey, which appeared on social and electronic media and the messages and comments exchanged by member Ritu Bhardwaj among themselves “betray a clear and hostile design of these members of Executive Committee to disregard, defame and flout the most innocuous and reasonable directions contained in BCI's unanimous resolution dated May 10, which was passed, keeping in view the dignity and prestige of the Supreme Court Bar Association.” BCI sought the response of the members of SCBA within 15 days on why appropriate disciplinary action be not taken against them under relevant sections of the Advocates Act.
It said that failing to reply will be deemed that the noticees have nothing to say in reply to the notices.
The resolution was taken during a meeting of the General Council of the BCI held on Sunday through video-conferencing, which was presided over by Vice-Chairman Satish A Deshmukh.
“...we are of the prima facie view that the Members of Supreme Court Bar Association, namely, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, advocates Rohit Pandey and Ritu Bhardwaj have committed acts of misconduct punishable under relevant provisions of the Advocates Act, 1961 read with Bar Council of India Rules and they deserve to be proceeded with for appropriate action as per provisions of law.' “They have used derogatory, defamatory and/or filthy words and have acted in most improper, unlawful and indecent manner which cannot be said to be befitting to their status as advocates (more so as the office bearers of the Bar Association of apex court).' 'This can never be a gentleman’s behavior as expected from an Advocate under the Advocates Act, 1961 or under the Bar Council of India Rules,” the resolution said. The BCI further said that the action of Dave and a few other members of the Executive Committee to allow Pandey to continue as the acting secretary was further perpetuation of gross unlawful act.
The BCI had on May 10 stayed the May 8 decision of the Executive Committee of the SCBA to suspend Arora with immediate effect by terming the suspension as “illegal, cavalier, undemocratic and autocratic”.
The differences between Arora and Dave had come out in open recently leading to the suspension of Arora by the Executive Committee on May 8.
Dave had justified Arora's suspension in a meeting held through online conference, saying that the decision was not “motivated by any personal bias”.
The suspension had come after Arora had called an emergent general meeting (EGM) of the lawyers’ body on May 11 to deliberate on agenda for removing Dave from the post of SCBA President. However, the meeting was later cancelled. PTI URD SJK RHL