The Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) has filed an application in the Apex Court, seeking impleadment in a petition filed by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), seeking to direct the Ministry of Urban Development to convert land measuring 1.33 acres, which was allotted to the top court of the country, into chamber blocks for lawyers.
The SCAORA said in the application that having more than 1700 Advocates-on-Record, it was a necessary party in the plea to ensure that no outcome of the instant petition resulted in any prejudice for practicing AoRs and that their interests were protected by the Association exclusively answerable to them.
Earlier during a hearing, Attorney General R. Venakataramani had sought more time to have a discussion with the concerned officials.
The Association contended that there was an immediate requirement for new chamber blocks for regular practicing advocates before the Supreme Court.
It said the applicant supported the prayer made in the petition as there was an immediate and urgent requirement of new chamber blocks in the Supreme Court vicinity for regular practicing advocates before the Supreme Court.
The petition added that SCOARA members, who were AORs and by rules were the only ones permitted to file cases before the Apex Court, should have the right to chambers as per chamber rules in the vicinity of the Supreme Court.
Drawn by Advocate Sachin Sharma, the plea said that in August 2022, it had made a written protest to the then Chief Justice of India for allocating three chambers to the Bar Council of India without consultation, especially when the BCI has its state-of-the-art building, just 10 minutes away from the Supreme Court.
It further said the allotment undermined the interest of the petitioner and applicant members, who were waiting for years to have a chamber in the Apex Court.
The space sought to be utilised for creating new chamber blocks was one of the first steps to resolve the issue of space crunch for lawyers practicing before the Supreme Court, it added.
The petition said that non-creation of chamber blocks would result in no chamber allotment to eligible members, which was a violation of fundamental rights of the members – Article 14, 19(1)(g) and Article 21 of the Constitution.
Calling space crunch a practical difficulty, the petition contended that the solution was to be adjudicated in the present writ petition. The space declared to be utilised for creating chamber blocks was one of the first steps to resolve this critical issue.
(Case title: SCBA vs Ministry of Urban Development)