The tussle between two factions of the Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) snowballed into a clash between two groups of lawyers on Friday.
The lawyers clashed a day after the executive committee of the Bar association suspended its president Rajiv Khosla for “anti-Bar activities”. While one group of lawyers supports Khosla, the other opposes him.
Khosla was suspended after he circulated a message objecting to the ongoing strike called by lawyers to protest against the proposed tabling of the Delhi High Court (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha. Khosla supports the Bill, which will clear the way for district courts to hear all civil cases less than Rs 2 crore.
On Friday morning, lawyers supporting Khosla clashed with another group supporting the executive committee’s decision. DHCBA Secretary Abhijat claimed he was slapped and that some people tried to drag him out of the court canteen, where the clash took place. Eyewitnesses claimed foul language was used against women members of the Bar.
Khosla, however, said there was no clash and that only a heated argument took place.
Later in the day, a meeting was called by Khosla, attended by several lawyers, following which a message was circulated by the Bar association, stating that “Abhijat is suspended by special house on July 24. Strike not to continue without approval of GBM (general body meeting). Members to resume work on Monday”.
“The executive committee is elected by the general house. The council members do not have powers to suspend anyone from it. The secretary was suspended by the GBM under rules,” Khosla said.
A second message circulated by Abhijat in the evening, however, rubbished the earlier message, claiming that the “meeting of a small group” could not be called a “special GBM”.
“No special GBM was held as it can only be held if the executive committee calls it in writing seven days in advance or if 10 per cent of the members requisition it in writing. None of this has happened. A gathering of lawyers, most of whom were not even members of the association, cannot be a GBM. There is no question of any resolution being passed. I am firmly in place as the secretary and transacted official business throughout the day…,” he said.