Delhi High Court begins hearing Adv Ashok Arora's suit against his removal from the post of Secretary, Supreme Court Bar Association.

Matter is before Justice Mukta Gupta.

#AshokArora #SCBA #DelhiHC
Today BCI was to reply: Arora
Adv Rajdipa Behura appears for BCI.

BCI had suspended the resolution of SCBA: Behura

Why is the Plaintiff here then: Court
Arora is relying on your stand. If you have the power over SCBA then why this suit?: Court

SCBA did not accept our resolution: Behura

What is your power to interfere?: Court
BCI derives its power from the Advocates Act. We can lay down standard of conduct.. we have to power to safeguard the rights of Advocates: Behura
Power is vis a vis an advocate practicing or as a member of Association. Here, it is not vis a vis his right to practice as an adv. Where is the provision which gives you the power to interfere in the present case?: Court
Behura reads the resolution passed by BCI on May 10, 2020.
BCI makes it clear that normally it does not interfere in the affairs of bar associations but here it was an extreme case: Behura
Behura finishes reading the BCI resolution.

It has not passed any order which is beyond its jurisdiction. Looking at the magnitude of this case and in view of powers under Advocates Act, this order was passed: Behura
Just because SCBA is registered under the Societies Act, it doesn't mean that they would not be bound by the Advocates Act: Behura
Behura refers to a judgement on this point of law.
Ratio is laid down on BCI's function. BCI ensures that Advocates do not behave in an unprofessional and unbecoming manner. All Advocates are under disciplinary jurisdiction of BCI: Behura
BCI Resolution was as per this judgement and section 7 of Advocates Act: Behura
BCI concludes.
Only issue is whether only a general body meeting could have passed the suspension order : Court
Court breaks for lunch. Matter to start at 2.15 pm.
Hearing resumes.

#AshokArora #SCBA
Senior Adv Arvind Nigam appears for SCBA.
Under Advocates Act, Bar Councils have the power to regulate the profession. Section 7 of what BCI is relying upon. These power do not include judicial power: Nigam
They cannot hear appeals from Advocates: Nigam
They cannot hear appeals against actions of independent bodies such as Bar Associations: Nigam
BCI has no jurisdiction to intervene. It's a different matter when the decision impinges upon court work such as strikes: Nigam
Nigam reads a judgement passed by Supreme Court on strikes by lawyers.
That is the backdrop against which a direction was passed to BCI to regulate conduct of lawyers. Strikes impinge court work: Nigam
Nigam continues to read the judgment.
BCI did not issue any directions to State Bar Councils who have not said anything. BCI has misread Harish Uppal judgement. The present case pertains to the internal management of a private Association: Nigam
It is not business of BCI. SCBA is a private Association. BCI has no power. In the absence of specific power, BCI action is entirely without jurisdiction: Nigam
When we pointed this out, BCI issued a show-cause notice. In their written submissions they say that BCI decided to await the outcome of the petition filed by Arora: Nigam
Arora filed a petition before the Supreme Court. In the application to withdraw the petition, Arora said that the petition was being withdrawn because a Committee was set up by SCBA : Nigam
Reason for withdrawal was the Committee. There is nothing about the suit being filed: Nigam
This constitutes an unconditional withdrawal under O23 R1. Once you have Instituted and withdrawal unconditionally, you can't file again on the same cause of action : Nigam
For interim relief, he must have a prima facie case.. the grievance of plaintiff is the subject matter of proceedings before three judges now. One of the three has recused : Nigam
That Committee was constituted in June. He appeared before the Committee and has submitted to the jurisdiction of the Committee: Nigam
Arora has relied upon Rule 35 of SCBA Rules: Nigam
Nigam reads Rule 35.
This is in relation to a member you want to suspend or expel: Nigam
Nigam reads Rule 14.
Arora has not been suspended from the membership of SCBA. I was suspended from the Association in 1991: Nigam
The President convened the meeting under Rule 14. He recused from the meeting. Arora was given the chance to present his views and counter views: Nigam reads the written submissions.
Rule 14 gives power to President to fill the vacuum in the rules. When rules were framed, nobody expected that elected members would misbehave: Nigam
Nigam lists earlier instances of suspension of elected members from SCBA posts.

There is past precedent. BCI did not intervene then: Nigam
Everything is not provided for in the rules. In doens't mean that in the absence of powers nothing can be done. If the President is wrong, he can be thrown out. Elections are coming: Nigam
The plaintiff threatened criminal action, attempted to highjack the Association .. : Nigam
President did not participate. The deliberation was of committee members. Arora was part of Executive Committee. The meeting did not have behind his back. His position is recorded. But BCI did not hear me when they passed their resolution and they talk of natural justice: Nigam
How many forum is the plaintiff going for shopping. It is a classic case of forum shopping. He went to the BCI. If the BCI order was final and binding, there should only be an execution and there should not any suit : Nigam
This is vexatious pleading. If he believes BCI had the jurisdiction, let him sink and swim with the order passed by BCI: Nigam
His suit is barred by the specific relief act. He is seeking a permanent injunction. For an interim injunction, the plaintiff has not made out any case at this stage: Nigam
I don't want to say anything more this: Nigam
When application was filed before Supreme Court for withdrawal, the suit was not in existence. Under CPC, another suit is barred. This is not the case here: Arora
Two wrongs do not make a right. Rule 14 is not applicable: Arora
Court records that parties have concluded arguements in the stay application.

Parties to file written submissions in 4 days. Suit to be heard next on November 6.

Order on interim relief to Ashok Arora reserved by Court.

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