BCI submits direction to SC to hold election to the Bar Council of J-K

New Delhi [India], Feb. 3 : The Bar Council of India (BCI) on Friday made a submission before a division bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar submitting to the direction of the Court to hold election to the Bar Council of Jammu and Kashmir for the first time in accordance with the Advocates Act, 1961 which was introduced in the state in 1986 but not implemented till date.

Prof. Bhim Singh in the latest writ petition which he filed in 2013 came for hearing before the bench of the Chief Justice with Justice N.V.

Ramana and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud. The court had directed the government to issue notification as per resolution of the BCI which had framed the Constitution for J-K Bar Council on the instructions of the Supreme Court in the writ petition 'Bhim Singh vs Union of India and Ors'.

The government had declined to notify the direction/order of the BCI in this regard on the pretext that the situation in Kashmir was not conducive to hold election to the Bar Council of J-K.

Prof. Bhim Singh had strongly protested against this authoritarian decision of the government and urged the Supreme Court to issue appropriate direction for the enforcement of the resolution passed by the BCI to hold election to the Bar Council of J-K which has been the practice in all the states/provinces of the government.

The Supreme Court had directed the BCI to explain their position. The BCI, instead of arguing against the writ petition of Prof. Bhim Singh, submitted a letter signed by the BCI and forwarded for publication in the Govt. Gazette at the earliest. The letter stated that, "It may be kindly noted that the Bar Council of India is a statutory body constituted under the Advocates Act, 1961.

It is an autonomous body and does not fall under any Ministry of the Government as per the Advocates Act, 1961.

The Advocates Act, 1961 empowers Bar Council of India to lay down its own rules and to also approve rules made by the State Bar Councils as per Section 7, Section 15 (3) and Section 49 of the Advocates Act, 1961.

Thus, the rule made or approved by the Bar Council of India is/are not required to be approved by any Ministry.

Therefore, the aforesaid rules made by Jammu and Kashmir High Court (discharging functions of State Bar Council in absence of the same in the concerned State) duly approved by the Bar Council of India under Section 15(3) read with Section 49 of the Advocates Act, 1961 may be immediately published in the Official Gazette." Prof.

Bhim Singh expressed gratitude to the SC and the Chief Justice for giving a chance to the lawyers fraternity in J-K to share the privileges granted under the Advocates Act, 1961 and elect their own Bar Council for the first time after 56 years of the implementation of Advocates Act, 1961.

Prof. Bhim Singh said that the Supreme Court shall announce its final order tomorrow, i.e. February 6, 2017, which may go down in the history of J-K as a victory day for the lawyers fraternity.

Source: ANI