SC issues notice to UOI, J&K High Court, Chief Secretary on Bar Council election

Division Bench of the Supreme Court of India comprising of JJ Mr. T.S. Thakur & Mr. Justice Vikramajit Sen today issued notice to the Union of India, Chief Secretary of J&K, Advocate-General, J&K & High Court on a writ petition filed by Prof. Bhim Singh, Sr. Executive Member of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) seeking direction to constitute J&K Bar Council in accordance with the Advocates Act which was extended to J&K in 1986.

Prof. Bhim Singh submitted that J&K is the only state where Bar Council is headed by Chief Justice of J&K ever since the Advocates Act was extended to the state. He described that is highly discriminatory with the lawyers fraternity of J&K and submitted that this amounts to denial of fundamental rights of lawyers of J&K which is being enjoys by lawyers fraternity throughout the country. On a question by the Division Bench as to who has to frame the rules to hold election to the State Bar Council, Prof. Bhim Singh emphasized on Sections 57 & 58 of Advocates Act which provide rules for the State Bar Council shall be framed by the respective High Courts and for the Bar Council by the Supreme Court. He vehemently argued that the democracy is being scuttled in J&K and denial of fundamental rights to J&K lawyers to choose their Bar Council is one example, he submitted. In his petition he stated,
“It is mandatory that every state in the country should have a Bar Council duly elected by the Electoral College constituted as per the mandate of the Advocates Act. In 1972, I had to register myself with the Bar Council of Delhi because Advocates Act was not applicable in J&K. Those registered in J&K (Integral part of the Union) have remained denied of this right.

I would like to bring our concern to the notice of the Prime Minster of India that J&K has not been included in the list of Bar Councils of the States. J&K Bar Council is headed by the Chief Justice of J&K High Court with the High Court Judges as the members. There is no reason or justification to deprive the advocates in J&K of their basic and constitutional right to elect and constitute the Bar Council in the State as is being constituted in other states of the country. I have been agitating this issue for the past 40 years without any response either from the Govt. of India or from the Bar Council of India. This Act on the part of the Govt. of India or Bar Council of India amounts to discrimination with the entire lawyers’ fraternity of J&K.” He further stated,  “Steps must be taken to hold elections in accordance with the Advocates Act (as amended) for the Bar Council of J&K. This shall be the beginning to build confidence in the minds of the people of J&K in the Constitution of India.”

In his petition, Prof. Bhim Singh has stated that, “It was in 2013 that the petitioner took up this matter with the leadership of the Bar Council of India. He made representation to the Prime Minister of India seeking his intervention to ensure enforcement of the Advocates Act, 1961 in J&K. The Prime Minister’s Office was pleased to send acknowledgment of the representation to the Govt. of J&K. In spite of all that no follow up action has been initiated to constitute a Bar Council in J&K in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Advocates Act, 1961 in 27 years.

The PMO in its reply dated 20.3.2013, Letter No.1/3/ 2013-PMP2/32416 while acknowledging the representation stated that the matter has been referred to Govt. of J&K for appropriate action.” The court also allowed the petitioner to serve dasti order to the respondents.
Prof. Bhim Singh was assisted by M/s. Satish Vig, Advocate-on-Record, B.S. Billowria and others.

NPP condemns Pak-Army for martyring Indian soldiers in Poonch Sector

Prof. Bhim Singh, Chief Patron of National Panthers Party has condemned the firing in Poonch Sector, J&K resulting into the martyrdom of five Indian soldiers who were patrolling on the Indian side in the morning hours.

Prof. Bhim Singh described this a deep conspiracy of Anglo-American Bloc to use the Pakistani army against any peace efforts between India and Pakistan. He said that Pakistan needs democracy which does not suit the Pakistan army. Pakistani army and ISI have always found Nawaz Sharief as ‘undesirable’ because he has come with the popular mandate of the people. Because he opposed the Kargil war which was launched by the army under the leadership of the then Chief of Pakistani Army, General Pervez Musharraf. Nawaz Sharief lost a job because of his opposition to Kargil war and also that he did not toe the line of the US-sponsored and backed Pakistani army.

While condemning the attack on the Indian army, Prof. Bhim Singh urged Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India to take up the issue straight with the Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharief. He accused those who have been asking to stop talking to Pakistan. The NPP leader said that neither bullets nor guns nor wars are the solution to the problems. He said that the dialogue and mutual respect for each others sovereignties are the only solution.