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Madhya Pradesh High Court directs district judge to nominate one counsel to undertake the procedure of elections of Anuppur district bar association

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The Madhya Pradesh High Court has directed the District Judge, Anuppur to nominate one of the Counsels for undertaking the exercise of proceedings of elections of the District Bar Association, Anuppur.

The Jabalpur Division Bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla on August 16, having regard to the fact that the election of the District Bar Association has become long overdue and considering the rivalry among the different groups of advocates in the District, directed the District Judge, Anuppur to nominate one of the counsel, who is fairly senior in practice and commands respect among all members of the Bar, to act as an Election Officer and also nominate in consultation with him two Advocates, as his assistants, in helping for undertaking the exercise of the proceedings of elections.

The Bench passed the verdict on a petition filed by Durgesh Kumar Pandey (Advocate) – President of the erstwhile Bar Association of Anuppur, challenging the order dated June 17, 2021, by which the State Bar Council of Madhya Pradesh appointed an ad hoc committee to deal with the affairs of the State Bar Council.

The State Bar Council had to appoint the Adhoc Committee because the term of the elected body of the Bar Association had come to an end one-and-a-half years back, in January, 2020.

On July 20, the High Court, upon hearing the Counsel for the parties, approved the election programme proposed by the Bar Council on behalf of the Adhoc Committee. In the order however, it came to be mentioned inadvertently that the Election Officer appointed by the District Bar Association, Anuppur shall notify the election programme.

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Subsequently, a review petition was filed on behalf of the State Bar Council that the proposed programme was submitted by the State bar Council and not by the State Bar Association and that as a result of confusion arising out of the situation, apart from the Election Officer appointed by the Adhoc Committee of the Bar Association, the outgoing body of the District Bar Association also appointed another Election Officer and that both of them were undertaking parallel proceedings for holding of the election.

Faced with the position, the High Court by order dated 10.08.2021 allowed the review petition and recalled the aforesaid order with a direction that the process of election as proposed by State Bar Council and as detailed out in the order dated 20.07.2021, shall stand cancelled and no proceedings shall be conducted by the Election Officer appointed by the outgoing body of the District Bar Association as well.

Also Read: Madhya Pradesh High Court fines petitioner Rs 50,000 for wasting precious time of court

The Jabalpur Division Bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla on August 16, having regard to the fact that the election of the District Bar Association has become long overdue and considering the rivalry amongst the different groups of advocates in the District, directed the District Judge, Anuppur to nominate one of the counsel, who is fairly senior in practice and commands respect amongst all the members of the Bar, to act as an Election Officer and also nominate in consultation with him two Advocates, as his assistants in helping for undertaking the exercise of the proceedings of elections.

“The Election Officer shall notify the program of election within a week of his appointment, for publication of the provisional voter list inviting objections, thereafter finalizing the voter list after deciding objections, the date of issuance of the nomination form, date of scrutiny of nomination form, date of withdrawal of the nomination form, date of publication of the final list of the candidates for various posts, date of holding of election, if required, on respective posts and the date of counting of votes and declaration of result,”

-the Court order while disposing the Petition.

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