The Supreme Court Bar Association has written to Chief Justice of India N. V. Ramana expressing its anguish over the failure to address several outstanding Bar issues.
Senior Counsel Vikas Singh, SCBA President in his letter to the CJI and the 5 senior Supreme Court Justices requested that an urgent hearing be granted to the APRA Executive Committee to discuss the issues and that necessary action be taken at the earliest.
“We now feel that the SCBA, having never resorted to strike action in its history, is not being given the prominence it deserves.” the letter indicates
According to the Association, the following matters are pending consideration by the Court:
SCBA Member Elevation: The letter stated that the CJI had addressed the issue of elevation of SCBA members to various High Courts and that the SCBA had assembled a very credible search committee to identify names to be considered for elevation. . The 48 names were identified and turned over to the CJI.
According to the SCBA, the high court colleges are in the process of recommending names for elevation and its entire exercise would be wasted if the respective colleges were to recommend names for elevation without having before them the names of SCBA members.
“The whole exercise was also aimed at bringing more transparency in the exercise of the appointment to the higher judiciary, which is repeatedly accused of being under the cloak of secrecy. According to our information, none of the names suggested by the Search Committee was considered by any member of the High Court Collegium.” specify the letter.
Distribution of rooms:
Senior Counsel Vikas Singh, President of the SCBA, said in his letter that a decision had been made by the previous Executive Committee with the Judges Committee to change the chamber partitions to create 3 out of 2 chambers for the purposes of single subdivision. However, despite repeated requests from the Association, the final rooming list was not prepared on time.
“We corresponded with the registry to find out the progress of the work according to the decision of the last executive committee and we were told that no work had started to redesign the same. We were also trying to obtain the list of attribution about whether we could ask members to choose their partners from the list and make the attribution to the chamber as it exists today without any modifications, but this effort also failed to bear fruit in due to the delay in finalizing the list.” the letter reads
Additional space for the association:
The letter indicates that the Association has requested additional space to provide a closer library, dining hall, and accommodations for the SCBA President and Secretary in the annex building across from Court No. 11, which we was verbally assured by the then CJIDipak Misra, but so far no action has been taken in this regard.
“The current dining hall is a small, shabby room where many senior lawyers and barristers practicing in this court eat lunch and it is sad that so much extra space has been made available to the Supreme Court in the Pragati Vihar area. , which resulted in the relocation of large numbers of offices from the current building, but no corresponding space was assigned to SCBA,” the letter pointed out.
Auditorium and meeting rooms SCBA functions/meetings: Mr. Singh said that Since the start of his current term, he has requested that the auditorium and meeting rooms be made available for SCBA functions/meetings, but this was denied without any justification.
Further, while it was pointed out that although the additional land was made available due to the persistence of the SCBA which had filed a petition on this behalf for the removal of Appu Ghar and the handing over of the additional land to the Supreme Court, the SCBA was also not given any additional space in the existing building and “to add insult to injury SCBA was prohibited from using the auditorium.
According to Mr. Singh, although several letters have been written on the issue of the banning of the use of the Auditorium, verbal assurances have been given but no decision has been taken on this matter.
The letter stated that the SCBA had repeatedly indicated that the current virtual hearing system was not at all acceptable to the Law Society, particularly the feature of attorneys not having the right to unmute/unmute themselves- same.
Furthermore, it has been stated that the software used by the Supreme Court has been updated several times and with advancements in technology, it is clearly not possible that this functionality for lawyers to mute and mute cannot be incorporated into the Supreme Court Virtual Hearing when the same is available in the Virtual Hearing of all High Courts across the country.
Non-list of questions even mentioning:
The letter pointed out that a large number of questions are not listed despite the mentions and for unknown reasons, many categories of questions are not listed for a preliminary hearing.
In this regard, the SCBA’s request is that all filed cases be listed strictly on the basis of filing date and that the bar always have the right to make an urgent notation for the listing of cases.
Principal Counsel Nominations for Principal Designation Not Called:
The letter states that despite the SCBA’s request, no action has been taken in the past 2.5 years to call for applications from attorneys for senior designation, even though the “Nominating Committee of the ‘senior lawyer’ is obliged to meet at least twice per calendar year. .
Construction of additional chambers of lawyers: According to the letter, the SCBA has requested the acceleration of the construction of additional law firms on 1.33 acres of land allocated to the Supreme Court of India behind a petrol pump near ITO. However, to date, no action has been taken in this regard and the said land is vacant.
Click here to read/download the letter