Tamil Nadu

HC stays Madras Bar Association election

The Madras High Court on Friday stayed the Madras Bar Association (MBA) election, scheduled to be held on August 21. The interim order was passed on the ground that the association failed to verify the certificates of practice of its individual members with the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (BCTNP) before finalising the voters’ list.

Justices N. Kirubakaran and R. Pongiappan pointed out that every Bar association was required to get the certificates of its members verified with the Bar Council before publishing the voters’ list. However, in the case of the MBA election, a list of 787 eligible voters had been finalised even before their certificates of practice could be verified, the judges said.

Advocate L. Chandrakumar filed a writ petition challenging the MBA’s decision to conduct the election despite the threat of a third wave of COVID-19 looming large. His counsel told the court that there was no tearing hurry to conduct the election at such a juncture when an ad-hoc committee had been managing the affairs of the association well.

The counsel claimed that the names of many members of the MBA had been removed from the voters’ list just because they could not pay the subscription charges due to the pandemic. He urged the court to quash the election notification issued by the association on July 14 and issue a consequential direction to hold the election after return of normalcy.

On the other hand, senior counsel AR.L. Sundaresan, representing the election officer, stated that the voters’ list had been prepared only on the basis of those who had paid subscription up to the year ending in March 2020 and not 2021. He also stated that the poll was being conducted only as per a decision taken by the general body of the association.

He said the association would immediately send the list of voters to the Bar Council for verification of their certificates of practice.

However, the judges said that the verification ought to have been done before publishing the election notification and ordered that the ad-hoc committee should continue to administer the association until further orders.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 5:59:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-stays-madras-bar-association-election/article35642653.ece

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