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Results: Maha Goa Bar Council gets ex-law firmite and youngest member ever

Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court

Twenty-seven-year-old Mumbai advocate and ex-Amarchand Mangaldas, Udwadia Udeshi and Wadia Ghandy lawyer Karan Bhosale has been elected into the Maharashtra & Goa Bar Council alongside 24 other advocates, while sole law firm candidate Hitesh Jain lost the election by 19 places.

The Maharashtra & Goa Bar Council announced the 25 winners late last week after months of protracted counting and legal challenges.

Nagpur candidate Aniruddha Krishnarao Choube, Solapur-based Milind Shivshankar Thobde, Aurangabad's Vasant Digamberrao Salunke and Pune advocate Harshad Vasantrao Nimbalkar won the most numbers of votes respectively (see full list below).

Karan Bhosale, who is his family's third successive generation on the Maharashtra & Goa Bar Council following his father and grandfather, ended up in 12th place winning a total of 1,306 votes running on a ticket of representing junior lawyers, improving welfare and legal education.

Bhosale told Legally India: "The reason I contested the election was mainly for the junior lawyers because the trend of the Bar Council is that junior lawyers are not represented adequately. In fact, the Bar Council rules provide that out of 25 seats a maximum of 10 seats can be made available to junior lawyers [of less than 10 years experience]."

"Unfortunately, in the last so many years there have been only two people who have made it through, one of them being my dad in his first election," he added. "I thought why not give it a shot."

Bhosale explained that he had campaigned across 10 districts in Maharashtra, had visited around 60-odd Bar Associations and delivered countless speeches either in Marathi or English. In his campaign he focused on pushing through the proposal of increasing the welfare fund to which advocates are eligible after 30 years of practice, to Rs 3 lakhs and promising to lobby for it to get increased to Rs 5 lakhs.

He said that he also hoped to increase the connection between Bar Council members in Mumbai and the rest of the state, particularly by using information technology and making computers available to regional Bar Associations.

"In most of the places the computers are just lying dormant," he noted. "Once the IT mechanism kicks in it'll act as fantastic link between the Bar Council and lawyers in the interior of state."

Bhosale had worked for one year at Amarchand, interned for half a year at Udwadia and two years at Wadia Ghandy before completing an LLM at Columbia University in New York, returning to Mumbai in 2009 to practice as an advocate in the chambers of Maharashtra & Goa advocate general Ravi Kadam.

Bhosale said that therefore improving legal education was very important to him and he wanted to find ways for the local Bar Councils to assist on bettering legal education across the country.

However, he said that he did not think it was feasible for Bar Councils to effectively exert pressure on senior advocates to mandate a minimum wage for junior lawyers, noting that educating young lawyers of the options available to them would also open choices to them, such as joining litigation departments of law firms where the pay was better.

He and several sources said that it was believed that Bhosale was the youngest-ever Maharashtra & Goa Bar Council member.

ALMT partner Hitesh Jain, who was the only contesting candidate from a large law firm, won 534 aggregate votes after elimination of other candidates, but finished in 44th place.

He said: "I fell short but at the same time I have satisfaction in the entire process. I wanted to run very clean campaign and did not want to break any rules in the game. And secondly, the motive was to create awareness of the Bar Council of the new generation of lawyers in law firms. A large numbers of partners, associates and senior counsel from the original side came down to vote this time and there was certainly a satisfaction in the campaign this time."

He added that he would continue to participate in the Bar Council in whatever way possible and would definitely run again next time.

Maharasthra & Goa Bar Council returning officer Varsha Rokade said: "I believe it went very well. In spite of the fact that the Supreme Court decision [questioning the voting mechanism] had come just one day before the election was held, we still managed to communicate it throughout. So all in all I believe it was a well organized and well-held election."

The first meeting of the new Bar Council is understood to be scheduled for late June.

Full list of elected members Bar Council Maharashtra & Goa 2010:
1.        Aniruddha Krishnarao Choube (Nagpur)
2.        Milind Shivshankar Thobde (Solapur)
3.        Vasant Digamberrao Salunke (Aurangabad)
4.        Harshad Vasantrao Nimbalkar (Pune)
5.        Anil Chandrabali Singh (Mumbai)
6.        Uday Prakash Warunjikar (Mumbai)
7.        Sureshchandra Ramrao Bhosale (Mumbai)
8.        Avinash Bhaskarrao Avhad (Pune)
9.        Pramod Pandurang Patil (Thane)
10.        Ashish Panjabrao Deshmukh (Yavatmal)
11.        Shivajirao Bhausaheb Chavan (Kolhapur)
12.        Karan Dilip Bhosale (Mumbai)
13.        Vitthal Bhaurao Kondedeshmukh (Mumbai)
14.        Babusingh Kartarsingh Gandhi (Akola)
15.        Balwant Harishchandra Jadhav (Latur)
16.        Vipinkumar Leeladhar Bendale (Jalgaon)
17.        Satish Abarao Deshmukh (Hingoli)
18.        Ahmedkhan Usmankhan Pathan (Pune)
19.        Avinash Janardan Bhide (Nashik)
20.        Jayant Dattatray Jaibhave (Nashik)
21.        Motisingh Ghanshyamdas Mohta (Akola)
22.        Ashok Vitthal Patil (Ahmednagar)
23.        Anil Mahadeorao Gowardipe (Nagpur)
24.        Asif Shaukat Qureshi (Nagpur)
25.        Nitin Laxman Chaudhari (Dhule)

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