The elections of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana will be held in April next. The elections were slated to take place in December this year. The Bar Council of India has passed several directions to ensure elections are held in a fair and transparent manner. The directions have been passed on a petition filed by a few members of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana.
The Council is fully aware of the legal position that normallv it should not interfere with the process of elections once notified but the case in hand cannot be equated to the ordinary case of election-dispute and it is not a case where the parties should be directed to work out their remedy before the election Tribunal after the result of elections, the order passed by the Bar Council of India (BCI) reads.
Appreciating the initiative by Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana to update list of advocates roll by annexing their photographs,the BCI has held that such decision of the State Bar Councils are praiseworthy,as in most of the State Bar Councils,we note that there is no updated list of advocates on its roll and the name of one advocate finds place in list of several Bar Associations. Only a few State Bar Councils have taken steps to delete the names of dead advocates; therefore the 2008 decision of Punjab and Haryana State Bar Council was commendable and should be an example to all the State Bar Councils in the future.
The State Bar Council has been directed to hold its meeting on November 4 in order to consider the appointment of the Honorary Secretary cum Returning Officer,either to confirm the appointment of Advocate Mukesh Berry as Honorary Secretary cum Returning Officer or to make a fresh appointment. The notification of election as per Rule 4(1) of Chapter- I of Part III of BCI Rules will be published on November 7.
The Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana has been directed to ensure the preparation of the updated roll of Advocates within a period of 30 days,which is to be counted from November 5,which means that the preliminary list of voters with the latest photographs is to be published latest by December 7. The State Council shall publish the preliminary voters list on December 10.
The objections will be invited by the State Bar Council from the advocates as well as associations asking each of the advocates on the roll of the State Bar to intimate it as to whether the lawyer has incurred any disqualifîcation mentioned in the Rules.
The last date for inviting such objections is to be decided by the State Bar Council in its meeting on November 4.
The preliminary electoral roll shall be put up on the notice board of the State Bar Council on December 10,thereafter the Final Electoral Roll will be published as per BCI Rules and the elections of the State Bar Council will be held on April 12 and 13. Before the final publication of the electoral roll,the State Bar Council shall entertain applications,having been made by any Advocate to allow his name included in the electoral roll if he furnishes sufficient reasons and fulfils the requirements of Rule 40 of Bar Council of India Rules. The State Bar Council shall revise the electoral roll and include the name of advocates enrolled upto 75 clear days before the date of elections as per the rules of Bar Council of India, reads the order .
The Council has also authorised the Chairman of the Bar Council of India to request the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court to appoint as Commissioner (a sitting or a retired Judge of any High Court) to oversee and monitor the election to State Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana.
The name of the Commissioner will be decided by Chief Justice in consultation with the chairman of the Bar Council of India. The Commissioner,will take charge of the election process on the date of publication of the preliminary list of voters,till the declaration of results. The honorarium of Commissioner is to be by the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court to be paid by the State Bar Council/ Returning Officer,out of the fund allotted for holding the election of the State Bar Councils. The chairman of the council has been authorized to make appointment of Commissioner in any other eventuality.