In an unusual move, the Bar Council of India (BCI) Monday passed a resolution “staying” the Supreme Court Bar Association’s (SCBA) May 8 decision to suspend its secretary Ashok Arora.
Although the BCI does not have powers to interfere with affairs of the other bar associations, it justified the resolution, asserting its duty to “lay down standards of etiquette for advocates” and to safeguard “rights, privileges and interest of advocates” under the Advocates Act, 1961.
“This purported order of the BCI is wholly illegal, unauthorised, unlawful and perverse. It is a direct attack on independence of Bar Associations across the country, not just on the SCBA,” SCBA president Dushyant Dave said.
Sources told The Indian Express that the BCI’s intervention comes against the backdrop of a turf war that broke out in the SCBA last week
between Dushyant Dave and Arora.
Arora was upset that Dave hosted the virtual farewell organised by SCBA for Justice Deepak Gupta even though the role traditionally belongs to the secretary.
Arora then called an urgent meeting of SCBA officials to discuss a resolution passed by the body on February 25, condemning Supreme Court judge Justice Arun Mishra’s praise for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The executive body of SCBA then met through video-conferencing and suspended Arora.