The Allahabad High Court Bench on Saturday directed that the Bar Council does not have the jurisdiction to usurp the power for constitution of an Elders Committee under the Bye-laws of a Bar Association. The Bench consisted Justices Sunita Agarwal and Ajay Bhanot.

A writ petition was filed by the Meerut Bar Association against re-constitution of its Elders Committee by the Bar Council of UP. The Council Chairman expelled two members of the Committee, while another member was removed from the Committee without giving any reason.

The Council Chairman had re-constituted the Committee and directed it to hold elections to the Bar Association by 29 June 2020.

Court’s View

The Court held that the Elders Committee is a “permanent statutory committee” and any dispute relating to its constitution can only be raised either before it or the General Body of the Bar Association.

The Court held that the Elders Committee being a statutory permanent body constituted under the Bye-laws could not have been replaced by the Chairman of the Bar Council of UP on its own. The order impugned does not record that any notice was issued to the members of the Elders Committee who have been replaced, though the Bar Council of India was bereft of power to do so.

The Court termed the Elders Committee constituted by the Council Chairman as “incompetent to interfere in the affairs of the Association” and clarified that under the Bye-laws, in so far as the elections of the office bearers or constitution of the committees of the registered Association, any dispute relating to the office bearers of the Association elected under Clause 16 of the Bye-laws, by whatsoever name it may be called, can only be raised before the prescribed authority under Section 25 of the Societies Registration Act.

Hence it was held that the Bar Council of UP under Section 21of the Advocates Act has only the power to decide any dispute between the parties (Advocates) regarding their inter-se seniority, taking into consideration of their date of enrollment with the Bar Council. In the instant case, no such dispute as raised before the Bar Council of UP.

Key Highlights

  • Case name: Meerut Bar Association & Anr. v. Bar Council of UP & Ors.
  • Case No.: Writ C No. 13067/2020.
  • Counsel: Senior Advocate Anoop Trivedi and Advocate Vivek Saran for Petitioners; Advocate Swetashwa Agarwal for Respondents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *