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Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Online Bar Association poll challenged

Chandigarh, September 14

A vital question of law revolving around the powers of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana in issuing a notification for online elections to the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association and all Bar Associations of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh will come up for hearing before the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday.

The case has been placed before the Division Bench of Justice Jaswant Singh and Justice Sant Parkash. The issue, "whether the respondent -Bar Council is justified in issuing a notification for conducting online elections on September 30 and October 1 for the Bar Association of Punjab and Haryana High Court and all Bar Associations of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, respectively", has been raised by three former presidents of the District Bar Association of Chandigarh and two members. The petition is to be argued by senior advocate Anand Chhibbar.

Among other things, Shankar Gupta and other petitioners submitted the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana has shut its eyes to the plight of the needy lawyers in dire need of funds during these unprecedented trying times.

A few unfortunate ones were even finding it hard to make the ends meet.

"The Bar Council does not want to help them financially. Instead, they hurriedly want to hold online elections and are ready to spend a whopping amount on it. It's a sad state of affair that our brother lawyers who are facing acute financial crunch are left to fend for themselves despite the fact that the Bar Council is generating huge finances through welfare tickets affixed on every Power of Attorney filed in the Courts...," the petition said.

Filed through Chhibbar's office, the petition further added two Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court recused to be chief supervisors of the online elections. One Judge recused much prior to the notification and the other Judge recused post issuance of notification. "This raises a serious doubt over the election framework".

The petition further added conducting elections was not a cakewalk but an arduous task involving a host of people for monitoring, supervising, managing and organising the polls.

"In such a grim situation, especially when the contagion is spiralling out of control and spreading its tentacles across the globe, holding the elections is an insensitive and preposterous act," it added. — TNS

from The Tribune

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