SC anguish over advocates` conduct quash expulsion

Expressing anguish at conduct of section of advocates, SC quashed a resolution passed by members of SCBA wherein the president PH Parekh was expelled.

New Delhi: Expressing anguish at the conduct of a section of advocates, the Supreme Court on Monday quashed a January 16 resolution passed by certain members of the (SCBA) Supreme Court Bar Association wherein the president PH Parekh was expelled along with three senior advocates.

The three senior advocates--KK Venugopal, PP Rao, and Ranjit Kumar, were appointed by the apex court on September 26, 2011, as part of an Implementation Committee to weed out non-serious members of SCBA and ensure that only those advocates who qualify certain norms were permitted to vote or contest the association`s elections.

While expelling the senior members, the advocates also resolved that they would not implement the apex court`s September 26, 2011, judgement on permitting only certain class of advocates to contest or vote in SCBA elections.

"It has been a painful experience for us to have had to hear this matter as it involves two sections of the Supreme Court Bar Association whose unbecoming posturing has cast dark shadows on the functioning of the Bar Association even in the eyes of the general public and the litigants who throng the Supreme Court each day for their cases.

"When a judgement has been delivered by this Court, it is the obligation of all citizens to act in aid thereof and to obey the decision and the directions contained therein, in view of the provisions of Article 141 of the Constitution, until and unless the same are modified or recalled," a bench of justices Altamas Kabir and S S Nijjar said in the judgement.

The apex court passed the judgement while upholding SCBA`s petition challenging the illegal expulsion of the President and other senior advocates.

"The Resolutions said to have been adopted at the purported meeting of the General Body of the SCBA on 16th January, 2012, do not muster scrutiny and must be held to be in violation of Article 141 of the Constitution and cannot, therefore, be countenanced.

"Apart from the fact that the agenda for the meeting did not include the matters in respect whereof the resolutions have been adopted, the resolutions themselves, being in flagrant violation of the judgement delivered by this Court on 26th September, 2011, have to be set aside.

"It is the duty of all the members of SCBA to abide by and to give effect to the judgements of this Court and not to act in derogation thereof," the bench said.

Article 141 mandates every citizen and institutions, including courts, to obey the orders of the apex court.
"The purported resolution expelling the three senior members of the Implementation Committee, appointed under the directions of this Court, from the primary membership of the Association, speaks volumes as to the illegality thereof and the deliberate and wilful attempt on the part of the members, who are alleged to have passed such a resolution to overreach the orders of this Court.
"Since the members of the Bar are involved, we do not wish to add anything further, except to express the hope that in future this kind of unruly and undignified behaviour will not be repeated," Justice Kabir, writing the judgement, said.