In a letter written by Senior Advocate and Former President of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Vikas Singh, addressed to Hon’ble Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde regarding resumption of normal functioning of Supreme Court, Senior Advocate Vikas Singh has raised grave concern about the non-resumption of normal functioning of the Supreme Court.
He further stated that Bar and Bench are the two main pillars on which the system of justice stands, however, recent turn of events have created a situation whereby the interests of the Bar are being neglected and the Bench is taking unilateral decisions with regard to the functioning of the Supreme Court. The letter also goes on to state that the term of the present Executive Committee (EC) of SCBA was to come to an end on 13.12.2020, however, only on 04.12.2020 (i.e. one week before the term was ending) the EC meeting was held wherein it was unanimously decided to conduct elections for the term 2020-21 through online mode (“by an appropriate mode e.g. the NSDL”) in the second week of January, 2021.
Senior Advocate Vikas Singh stated in the letter that even this delayed decision regarding elections was brought out in public domain only on 10.12.2020 and the same was communicated to the Election Committee on the said date itself. Even though the electoral rolls are prepared well in advance, however, this year time was given till 04.01.2021 to complete the electoral roll and now when the elections have been announced for 29.01.2021, Mr. Dushyant Dave, President, SCBA surprisingly called for an Executive Committee meeting to approve the expenditure for virtual voting, which was uncalled for as the Executive Committee itself unanimously decided to conduct elections online, preferably through NSDL. While the Election Committee headed by Mr. Jaideep Gupta, Senior Advocate, is not bound but the decision of the Executive Committee of not approving the expenditure as now the entire responsibility for conducting the election is on them and what expenditure is to be incurred for a free, fair and smooth election is entirely the call of Election Committee. But still it appears that every effort is being made to stall the upcoming elections. Sr. Adv. Vikas Singh also pointed out that the Advocate-on-Record examinations were deferred by the Supreme Court, thereby depriving the young members of the Bar the opportunity to clear the said examination in the last year whereas all other examinations were compelled to be held by orders of the Supreme Court notwithstanding the pandemic and any effort to defer any examination has always been thwarted by the Supreme Court. Since the entire country is now opening up, by adopting sufficient safeguards, Senior Advocate Vikas Singh urged the CJI to consider re-opening of the Supreme Court also by taking all necessary safety measures at the earliest and ensuring that justice delivery comes back to the same level as it was prior to the outbreak of the pandemic. [Read Letter]