SCBA hosted 1st Plenary Session of HC Bar Associations, called for parallel bill

SCBA hosted first ever Plenary Session of Bar Associations in India to discuss the challenges before the judiciary today. The judicial amendment bill and appointment of judges bill came under severe attack of the lawyers’ fraternity. The Plenary Session accepted the proposal of Prof. Bhim Singh, Sr. Advocate and Chairman of the Sub-Committee for Conferences that the Supreme Court Bar Association should propose a parallel bill so that a fresh legislation to uphold the dignity and integrity of the judiciary shall be maintained.
The President of SCBA, Mr. M.N. Krishnamani, Sr. Advocate in inaugural address called on the parliamentarians to reject the present bill seeking amendment in the collegium system for the appointment of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts. Mr. Kailash Vasudev, Sr. Advocate, Sr. Vice President vehemently argued against the proposed bill and the amendment act in the collegium system and said that the Executive of the Supreme Court Bar Association is capable to bring out a fresh legislation for the consideration of the Parliament. Sr. Advocates, Mr. S.B. Upadhyay, Mr. Anoop George Chaudhari in their interventions appreciated the role of the Supreme Court Bar Association to carry the agenda of the entire lawyers’ fraternity of the country. Others who participated in the debate included M/s. Aftab Ali Khan, Devashish Bharuka, Pijush Kanti Roy (Executive Members), V.K. Biju, Treasurer and Dr. Sandeep Singh, Asstt. Secretary. Ms. Pareena Swarup, Hony. Secretary-SCBA expressed hope that the debate on the formation of the collegium for the appointment of judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts shall be intensified with wider participation of the lawyers’ fraternity from the regional and provincial associations.
Prof. Bhim Singh who presided over the historic session called on the lawyers’ associations to send dropped bill to the Supreme Court Bar Association which shall be given the final shape by the Executive of the Supreme Court Bar Association in consultation with the Bar Council of India. He said that the Supreme Court Bar Association may stage a shadow Parliament in front of the Parliaemnt of India in support of the new bill which the SCBA is going to present to the nation.
The Bar Association floated a consensus that the bills relating to the appointment of judges in the Supreme Court and in the High Courts should be circulated to solicit the public opinion lest the justice delivery system collapses resulting into disaster for democracy in India.
Sd/-Sudesh Dogra
NB : Following of the excerpts of Prof. Bhim Singh’s observations in the debate.


New Delhi, 14th September, 2013

Prof. Bhim Singh’s Address in first Plenary Session
The Challenges before the Judiciary

Most esteemed friends and colleagues,
I am taking this liberty to expressing gratitude for having spared your valuable time to participate in this extraordinary Plenary Session of the Bar Associations and the Bar Councils of different states of the country. This is first attempt to organize such a Plenary Session where the representatives of the Bar Associations may participate from every corner of the country.
There are challenges everywhere in every discipline of life and the lawyers’ fraternity have a bigger role to play than the members of the civil society and political life. The challenges before the judiciary deserve special attention of our fraternity so that we together may put in our efforts to identify the challenges and work out perfect resolutions of the challenges. India is the largest democracy in the world and I am fortunate to have that experience with me as I have travelled around the world, mostly, on motorcycle covering nearly 150 countries in the world with a mission to spread India’s message of peace unto the world.
First of all there is a need to rework and rewrite the Civil and Criminal Codes. There is a need of overhauling the Criminal Procedure Code as well as Law of Torts. For Example there is no time limit to file a chargesheet in a criminal case. The Evidence Act has become as outdated as the British colonial rule. The present system has not been able to define the period of life sentence. The judiciary has been overacting, naturally so, because there are loopholes in the criminal justice delivery system.
I understand that the lawyers’ fraternity representing the Bar Associations, Bar Councils and the Supreme Court Bar Association if works jointly, we certainly shall be able to rewrite the legal system in accordance with the jurisprudence of Bharata.
The Constitution of India also needs some improvements or amendments to ensure that the Constitution reflects to the challenges before the society for the universal good of a human being. This certainly needs a committed and selfless approach of the lawyers’ fraternity and certainly we can afford it.
The judicial system also needs drastic amendments and improvements to establish the credibility and the integrity of the judges. The judges are also human beings and may commit errors also. The judges have to be dug out from the society by highly scientific methodology. This function cannot be performed by the politicians, may they be from the ruling class or otherwise. The politicians in other words the governments have to be kept out from the process of choosing judges for the High Courts and or for the Supreme Court. I suggested the other day in General Body Meeting organized by the Supreme Court Bar Association that the lawyers’ fraternity should launch a parallel legislation on the appointment of the judges. Saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the proposed legislations or bills of the Parliament in this regard shall make no sense at all. We are neither the Government nor the Opposition. We are the destiny of the Nation and hope of hundreds of millions of people in this country, the wretched of the earth whose cases we have been pleading for before the courts and outside.
The challenges before the judiciary need to be identified rather specified. Only then we may diagnose the disease. The perfect and scientific diagnoses shall alone help us to to find the right doctors to cure the disease. The largest democracy of the world is dependent mostly on the independent functioning of the judiciary. The day people shall loose faith in the judiciary, it may be an end of democracy and of course rule of law.
I hope and trust that we shall be able to come out with the joint declaration on our role to face the challenges before the judiciary.
Wish all of you a happy stay in the great capital of India.
With regards,