“Suit is Withdrawn, All Questions Of Law Shall Remain Open”: Supreme Court Disposes Ex SCBA Secy. Ashok Arora’s Plea Against His Suspension

first_imgTop Stories”Suit is Withdrawn, All Questions Of Law Shall Remain Open”: Supreme Court Disposes Ex SCBA Secy. Ashok Arora’s Plea Against His Suspension Mehal Jain14 Dec 2020 11:37 PMShare This – xThe Supreme Court on Tuesday disposed off SCBA’s erstwhile Secretary Ashok Arora’s plea against his suspension as having become infructuous, while observing that “all questions of law shall remain open”.With feuding leaders of the Supreme Court Bar Association consenting for a settlement, the Delhi High Court had on Friday closed a suit filed by Arora challenging the decision of the SCBA…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court on Tuesday disposed off SCBA’s erstwhile Secretary Ashok Arora’s plea against his suspension as having become infructuous, while observing that “all questions of law shall remain open”.With feuding leaders of the Supreme Court Bar Association consenting for a settlement, the Delhi High Court had on Friday closed a suit filed by Arora challenging the decision of the SCBA to suspend him from the post of secretary, observing that when the bar gets divided, it also weakens the bench which gets strength from lawyers. When Arora’s SLP came up before the bench headed by Justice A. M. Khanwilkar on Tuesday, Arora submitted, “The settlement has been given to the High Court. The EC (Executive Committee of the SCBA) is not pressing the suspension resolution. The term is also over, so there is no hurry. The suit is over, but if Your Lordships feel like, you may resolve the law point- the High Court order has gone beyond the EC meeting. The High Court held that the President can suspend the Secretary. This may create a problem for all bar associations and societies””You have withdrawn the suit? Now listen to the order we are passing”, observed Justice Khanwilkar.”The suit stands withdrawn. So this SLP is disposed off as infructuous, leaving the questions of law open”, the bench recorded in its order.The Supreme Court had last Thursday adjourned the special leave petition filed by Arora against the Delhi High Court order wherein his plea seeking a stay on his suspension from SCBA was rejected.A Bench of Justices Khanwilkar and BR Gavai heard the matter and allowed Arora to argue in person. However, due to audio issues, the Court adjourned the plea to Tuesday.In Thursday’s hearing, Arora submitted to the Court that he wanted to argue in person. To this, the Bench responded that as Arora was an advocate of the Supreme Court, he should have been aware of the practices. “You are advocate of this Court. You know the practice. You should discharge your advocate. Don’t get involved. This is not the correct procedure. If you have engaged an Advocate-on-Record, first discharge him and then address us”, directed the Bench. Arora sought for permission to make a statement on the same. As the AOR agreed to make a statement for the discharge, the Court dictated an Order whereby they allowed Arora to argue.Arora then commenced his submissions and stated that the entire of sequence of events was “disgusting”. “Before I go to the impugned order, I need to point out one incident in the sequence of events. They are so disgusting. The interim relief I want is that the suspension is continuing”, averred Arora. He brought to the fore the issue that despite his suspension, the letterhead of the SCBA showed his name as “Hony. Secy. Ashok Arora (Under Suspension)”. “This is defamatory and humiliating”, noted Arora. The Bench asked Arora to take up the matter with SCBA and request them to remove the name from the letterhead.Arora then recounted the event of February 22nd – “Mr. Dave. insulted the President and the Prime Minister of India by boycotting the function organized by the Supreme Court. When this happened, a letter was signed seeking for his removal as the SCBA head. 410 people signed it.”It was submitted by Arora that the Emergency General Body Meeting which had been called by him was done so according to the Rules which empowered the Secretary to call such a meeting. “Since 410 members made a request to the Secretary, citing that Dave had insulted the PM, President and foreign dignitaries, I was empowered to call the meeting”, said Arora. The Bench asked Arora for the suspension notice, however, due to the audio issues, the matter could not proceed and was adjourned to Tuesday.On Friday, Justice Rajiv Shakdher of the Delhi High Court passed an order putting an end to the proceedings after both the parties — Arora and SCBA President Dushyant Dave — consented for a settlement.When you get divided like this, it does not go down well in the bar,” the judge said adding that “I feel at the end of the day, the bar and the bench belong to the same fraternity. If you get weakened, the bench gets weakened. We get strength from you.Justice Shakdher, who suggested parties to settle the issue, also recorded that since the term of the current executive committee (EC) of SCBA comes to an end on December 14 and the elections for constitution of a fresh panel are expected in mid-January, 2021, the SCBA will not take the suspension resolution further.It also noted that since Arora’s term as secretary of SCBA comes to an end, he has made a statement that he would not participate in the EC proceedings henceforth.The court also said that Arora’s suspension will not come in the way of his participation in fresh elections.Arora said he will withdraw all legal proceedings initiated by regarding his suspension.Earlier in October, another judge of the high court had refused to grant interim relief of staying the SCBA resolution to Arora. The single judge’s order was upheld by a division bench in November.In the suit, Arora has challenged his suspension on the ground that his removal by the Executive Committee of SCBA was in violation of principles of natural justice.SCBA had earlier told the court that principles of natural justice were followed before suspending its secretary Arora from the post.It had claimed that there was an attempt to hijack the functioning of the association after which the need to suspend Arora arose.The Executive Committee of the SCBA had passed a resolution on May 8, suspending Arora from the post of secretary with immediate effect in a meeting held through an online conference.The suspension had come a day after Arora had called an emergent general meeting (EGM) of the lawyers’ body on May 11 to deliberate on the agenda for removing senior advocate Dushyant Dave from the post of SCBA President.The Executive Committee had also cancelled the proposed EGM and decided to set up a three-member panel to look into the allegations against Arora, an SCBA official had said.The official had said the decision to suspend Arora was taken by the majority of participating lawyers.Differences appeared among the top office bearers in the SCBA over the stand taken by the lawyers’ body on a ”resolution” concerning statements made by Justice Arun Mishra (since retired) about Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the International Judicial Conference-2020.The BCI had on May 10 stayed the May 8 decision of the Executive Committee of the SCBA to suspend Arora with immediate effect by terming the suspension as illegal, cavalier, undemocratic and autocratic .Shortly after Dave had issued the February 25 ”resolution”, allegedly signed by several members of the lawyers” body expressing concern over Justice Mishra’s statements, Arora had claimed that “no resolution has been passed” as he did not sign the statement released to the media.Arora had then said, “There was no executive council or general body meeting of the Association. The President has taken an arbitrary dictatorial and irresponsible stand. He cannot speak on behalf of the SCBA without calling a general body meeting or meeting of the executive council on such a serious issue”.Arora had said that all the communication to the media is to be sent through the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who is General Secretary of the SCBA.The lawyers’ body in its resolution had said, “The SCBA expresses its strong reservations on the statement and condemns the same strongly. The SCBA believes that the independence of the judiciary is the basic structure under the Constitution of India and that such independence be preserved in letter and spirit.”On February 22, Justice Mishra had praised Prime Minister Modi, while delivering the vote of thanks at the inaugural function of the International Judicial Conference 2020 – ”Judiciary and the Changing World” and termed him as an “internationally acclaimed visionary” and a “versatile genius, who thinks globally and acts locally”.Next Storylast_img