Delhi HC issues notice to Bar Councils on poll delay allegations

The Delhi High Court has served notices to the Bar Council of India (BCI) and Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) in response to a petition seeking directions on the pending election of 25 members of the BCD.

The petition, filed by lawyer Awanish Kumar, claims that despite the last elections being held in March 2018 and the next scheduled for June this year, no progress has been made.

Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Mini Pushkarna directed both councils to submit their responses.

The petitioner also informed the bench that a six-month extension was sent by the BCD to the BCI in March, which was granted on 20 June.

Kumar alleges “illegal collusion” between BCI and certain BCD members, accusing them of obstructing elections under the pretext of verifying non-practising advocates.

“The identification and verification of non-practicing advocates is an unending process, and elections cannot be delayed for this frivolous reason,” stated Kumar in the plea.

Additionally, Kumar contested a BCI notification on June 23 repealing Rule 30 and 32 of the Bar Council of India Certificate and Place of Practice (Verification) Rules, 2015.

The new rule allows officers to continue beyond their extended tenure if delays occur in identifying non-practising advocates or preparing electoral rolls.

The bench has now scheduled the next hearing for 31 January, 2024.

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