A civil court in Vadodara, on Monday, has served an urgent showcause notice to the Baroda Bar Association (BBA) over a petition filed by Advocate Dr Mahesh Thakar, challenging the July 23 election of the association after it omitted the NOTA (None of the Above) option from the ballot papers.
The urgent show-cause notice for a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, reads, “Please file reply as to why the relief claimed by the petitioner should not be granted.” The civil court has issued summons to all the defendants in Thakar’s complaint — the BBA Chief Election Officer, Atul Mistry, in-charge president Niramay Parikh and previous president Nalin Patel.
The petition seeks that the BBA be directed to include the NOTA option, as per law laid down by the Supreme Court in its October 2013 judgment, making it a mandatory right for all voters. The BBA elections, have in fray 37 candidates for 16 posts including one president, one vice-president, two general Secretaries, two women representatives and 10 managing committee members. Thakar has contended that advocates are officers of courts as per the Advocates Act under which license of practice is given. Law declared by the SC shall be binding on all courts within India. “Hence, the officers of the court also have to respect and abide by the law relating to NOTA in and out of court,” he stated. The matter will now be heard Tuesday.