SC irked over non-holding of Bar Council election in J&K

The Supreme Court on Monday took strong note of non-holding of elections of the State Bar Council by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court for the last 30 years and termed is as "highly undesirable".

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 24, 2014, 21:51 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday took strong note of non-holding of elections of the State Bar Council by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court for the last 30 years and termed is as "highly undesirable".

A bench, headed by Justice TS Thakur, said the High Court is "bestowing upon" itself the power of the lawyers' body and fixed the plea, filed by senior advocate Bhim Singh, for hearing tomorrow.

It asked the High Court and Jammu and Kashmir government to make their stands "clear by tomorrow" as to how the election for the members of the of Bar Council will be conducted.

The apex court bench said there has to be an elected Bar Council in the state and questioned the High Court for not taking steps in this regard.

"Direct the Respondents 2 to 4 (J&K, Chief Justice of the High Court and the High Court) to frame rules within the meaning and scope of section 58 of the Advocates Act and constitute the Bar Council of J&K at par with bar councils in other states under the Act," the plea said.

Earlier, the court had issued a notice on the plea of Singh seeking a direction to constitute J&K Bar Council in accordance with the Advocates Act which was extended to the state in 1986.

It is highly discriminatory with the lawyers fraternity of the state and this amounted to denial of fundamental rights of lawyers of Jammu and Kashmir which is being enjoyed by lawyers across the country, Singh had said.

"It is unfortunate that the state of J&K has not cared to implement the Advocates Act which was extended in 1986. This is a unique methodology of discriminating with the advocates in the state of J&K which forms integral part of the Union Of India," the plea said.