A DAY after high drama was witnessed on the premises of Punjab and Haryana Bar Council, wherein Lekh Raj Sharma was illegally elected as the chairman of the bar by a 15-member general house meeting, present chairman Rajat Gautam made a complaint to the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) on Monday alleging that a group of lawyers with goons had entered the council with pistols.
He made a complaint to the SSP stating that when he entered the Bar Council premises, his name plate had been replaced by the name plate of one Lekh Raj Sharma. He stated in the complaint that his term was going to get over on August 23 in 2017. He alleged that 27 members of the Bar Council, including advocate general of Punjab and advocate general of Haryana entered his office and broke the locks. He alleged that documents from his office had been stolen. He sought action against P S Ghuman, vice-chairman of the State Bar Council, Lekh Raj Sharma, C M Munjal and Rajeev Keswar.
In a related development, a few advocates had filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court challenging the orders of the Bar Council of India (BCI) wherein the BCI had invoked a stay on the proceedings of the Punjab and Haryana Bar Council on September 15.
Sharing the details, advocate Lekh Raj Sharma said, “We have withdrawn the writ petition as the proceedings of the meeting held yesterday were not mentioned in the writ. We will amend the writ and file it again tomorrow.”
Addressing a press conference in the State Bar Council office, Sector 37, Gautam said, “For initiating a no- confidence motion, a majority of 18 members of the general house are required and to remove a office-bearer, a majority of two-third of the strength, that is 21 members, is required. It was shocking for me as well that when I visited the premises of the office last night, members of the bar Parvesh Yadav, Amit Rana, Partap Singh along with 10 anti-social elements were standing there. I immediately called the police to remove them from the spot.”
Explaining the reasons why the members of his own office were against him, Gautam said, “I have taken up various issues regarding misappropriation of assets and bungling of the Bar Council budget. I have also taken up the issue of R S Badhran, Rakesh Gupta, Anmol Rattan Sidhu for various financial irregularities committed during their tenures. During my tenure I have also issued show-cause notice to C M Munjal for his misconduct as he was found guilty of contempt of court by the high court. Also, I have taken up the matter pertaining to fake degree of advocate Lekh Raj Sharma and the financial irregularities during his tenure.”
Reacting to the whole issue, advocate Lekh Raj Sharma said, “He has support of only seven to eight members of the general body of the bar council. The general body has 25 members and he had lost majority. Legally, I am the chairman of the State Bar Council. The members who had elected him do not support him anymore. Yesterday 15 members held a general body meeting and elected me as the chairman. He had resigned and uploaded his resignation on the social media as well.”