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'Manhandled by SC lawyers', Officer of SCBA's Coop Housing Society tells Delhi HC [Read Judgment]

By Shreya Agarwal      17 January, 2024 02:07 PM      0 Comments

NEW DELHI: A Returning Officer of the  Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Multi-State Cooperative Group Housing Society Ltd has told Delhi High Court that he was manhandled and threatened by lawyers in the Chamber Block of the Supreme Court, in a plea that sought  shifting of the venue for elections to the Board of Directors of thescheduled on January 18, 2024, to Library - I at the Supreme Court. Highlighting the alleged “hostile conditions towards himself and his staff” the Officer opined that he would be “unable to conduct a free and fair elections in the Supreme Court”.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora junked the plea stating that having been filed on the “eve of the elections”, the plea seeking change of venue cannot be entertained by the Court.

“The Returning Officer (RO) has also explained that he made earnest efforts to conduct the election within the Supreme Court, however, at the relevant time no cooperation was forthcoming to him,” the bench stated.

The Court also took note of the difficulties and apprehensions expressed by the RO in this regard.

The petitioners were seeking a change of venue on the grounds of convenience of practicing members of the Bar.

However, the Returning Officer stated that although the registered office of the Society is located within the Chamber Block of the Supreme Court, the Asst. Returning Officer and the staff during their visit to the said block had been manhandled and threatened, by the lawyers.

He further stated that for the purpose of conducting the elections he had written to the office bearers of the SCBA and the person-in-charge of Library-I; however, he did not receive any response.

He states that in fact, no cooperation was extended to the staff of the RO and they were not granted ready access to the existing office in the chamber block making it difficult to carry out the functions of holding elections

He also alleged non-cooperation by the DCP Security at Supreme Court and from his Central Authority on his request to contact the concerned superior police officers for assistance.

He also added that in any case he would be unable to make venue changes at the eleventh hour.

However, referring to a written communication by the Secretary of SCBA, the petitioner had stated that they had assurance from the office bearers of SCBA on cooperation in the conduct of the elections within the Supreme Court.

 

[Read Judgment]



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