There is a power struggle within the Supreme Court Bar Association after Ashok Arora, SCBA Secretary, called for an “extraordinary meeting”; to remove Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave from the post of SCBA President, and the primary membership of the Association.
Arora called for a meeting on May 11 under Rule 22 of the SCBA Rules; to discuss the following:
- To condemn the unauthorized resolution dated 25.02.2020 purportedly passed by the Executive Committee (through circulation) and immediately withdraw the same.
- Not to use the office of SCBA for political purposes.
- To remove Dushyant Dave from the post of President SCBA.
- To remove Shri Dushyant Dave from the primary membership of SCBA for working against the interest of the Bar.
The Executive Committee of SCBA passed the resolution criticizing the public remarks Justice Arun Mishra made in praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Justice Mishra said that PM Modi is a “versatile genius who thinks globally and act locally“; in his vote of thanks during the inaugural ceremony of the International Judges Conference on February 22, 2020.
Response By Dave
Therefore, Dave sent out the following message to the members-
“The entire exercise is illegal and improper. Moreover, EC has not decided to call any such meeting. So, whole exercise is unfortunate and wrong. It will have no purpose nor can it achieve any objective; except to tarnish reputation of this great body, SCBA. I am the President elected lawfully and will continue to serve you till my term is over. This attempt violates every cannon of procedure and law and has no legs to stand. You have elected me; and it is because of that I am serving you to the best of my abilities. Only you have power and right to act, not some person carrying personal agenda. Dignity and respect of this great institution, SCBA is at stake. So, please be informed that I will continue to serve you through my tenure; and will not be stopped by a motivated individual.”
The Resolution Of February 25
In the controversial February 25 resolution, the SCBA expressed strong reservations against Justice Mishra’s remarks as such conduct intrudes upon judicial independence.
“The SCBA believes that the Independence of the Judiciary is the basic structure under the Constitution of India; and that the preservation of such independence in letter and spirit. Most importantly, the SCBA believes that any such statement reflects poorly on the Independence of the judiciary; in addition, calls upon the Hon’ble Judges not to make statements in future; nor show any proximity or closeness to the Executive including Higher Functionaries,” the resolution stated.
However, Secretary Ashok Arora refused to sign the resolution. The Execution Committee of the SCBA said that such closeness may impact the decision-making process by the Hon’ble Judges; and may give rise to reasonable doubts in the minds of the litigants about the outcome.