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MP High Court Issues Directions For Bar Council Elections, Asks To Follow ‘One Bar One Vote’ Rule [Read Order]

News February 18, 2018

Akanksha Jain

 The Madhya Pradesh High Court has announced that the upcoming High Court Bar Association elections will be governed by the ‘One Bar One Vote’ principle and the voter list will also be prepared in line with the said rule.

 A bench of Justices P K Jaiswal and Virender Singh directed that “…in the spirit of the directions issued by Hon’ble Supreme Court in S.C. Bar Association & Ors. V/s. B.D. Kaushik, the principle of ‘OBOV’ will be applicable for Advocates”.

As per the high court’s order, “The members of the High Court Bar Association, Indore / District Bar Association have to give an undertaking and specific declaration in respect of election of Bar Association in the High Court Bar Association that they will cast one vote only and no other Bar Association in the country. The aforesaid has to be verified as per Rule of 2015, for the principle of ‘OBOV’, same method should be adopted”.

The newly elected body of the High Court Bar Association will have to immediately after taking over the charge amend its Constitution to incorporate the OBOV rule.

The high court order comes on a petition moved by advocate Amol Shrivastava and one other advocate who are registered with the State Bar Council of M.P and are also registered member of the High Court Bar Association, Indore.

They had sought implementation of the OBOV rule which is now accepted throughout the country.

As the term of the office of the executive committee of the High Court Bar Association, Indore has already been over, the court constituted the High Court Bar Association’s Ad-hoc Committee under the chairmanship of senior advocate C L Yadav which will take over the charge of the executive committee with immediate effect.

The committee also comprises senior advocates B.I. Mehta and Pradeep M. Choudhary, advocate R.S. Chabbra, Sudhir V Dandvate, Ritu Bhargava and Mini Ravindran.

 This committee will also supervise the finalization of the Voter List / electoral roll of High Court Bar Association, Indore.

The high court has passed following directions:

  • The Chairman and Secretary of the Committee, so constituted, shall have all the necessary Administrative and financial powers for the smooth functioning of the affairs/business of the High Court Bar Association, Indore till new elected body takes over the charge.
  • The Committee constituted by this order will be the custodian of the funds of the High Court Bar Association, Indore and shall maintain up-to-date accounts of the High Court Bar Association Indore.
  • The Committee shall take all necessary steps to conduct election of the High Court Bar Association, Indore for the period 2018-19 by strictly following the principle of “OBOV”. For preparation of the Voter list of the High Court Bar Association, Indore, for the election of the 2018-19, the Committee will ask all the members of the High Court Bar Association, Indore to give an undertaking in the prescribed format. The members, who have already filled in the verification form as per the Rules of 2015, shall disclose in the undertaking the Association selected by them for casting their votes for the election of Bar Association. The members, who have not submitted the verification form shall be required to undertake in the prescribed format that he/she shall cast his/her vote only in the High Court Bar Association, Indore.
  • The Committee, on the basis of the undertaking submitted by it’s members, shall prepare a voter list of the voters of High Court Bar Association, Indore.
  • The Committee for this purpose publish notice on the Notice Board of the High Court Bar Association, all other Bar Associations falling within the jurisdiction of High Court of M.P. Bench at Indore, with a cut off date. The Committee shall also publish the notice in all leading news-papers in circulation within the High Court of M.P. Bench at Indore.
  • The exercise of preparation of the Voter list shall be completed within three weeks
  • The Committee shall also declare the programme of election of the Executive Committee of High Court Bar Association, Indore. The process of the Election has to be completed within four weeks from today. The Committee shall also appoint Chief Election Officer for conduction of the election of the High Court Bar Association, Indore, for 2018-19. In turn the Chief Election officer will be free to appoint his team for conduction of the election of the High Court Bar Association, Indore for 2018-19. The Chief Election officer, so appointed, shall be responsible for conducting the election of the Executive Committee by strictly adhering to the principal of “OBOV”.
  • The Committee after completion of the election of the High Court Bar Association, Indore for 2018-19, handover the charge to the newly elected body of the High Court Bar Association and shall file a detailed compliance report before the Registry of this Court.
  • The new elected body of the High Court Bar Association, Indore, immediately after taking over the charge shall take appropriate steps for amendment in the Constitution of the High Court Bar Association, Indore and incorporate the Rules of “OBOV” with immediate effect.”

It is to be noted that the principle of OBOV first taken up by the Allahabad High Court in Shiv Kumar Akela vs The Registrar, Societies Firms. Thereafter, in a first, the OBOV was implemented by the Supreme Court Bar Association by introducing an amendment to Rule 18 of the Supreme Court Bar Association Rules, whereby every member before casting his vote, is required, in the prescribed form, to give a declaration that he has not voted in any other election of any Advocates in the High Court / District Court Bar Association.

Read the Order Here