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[UPDATE: BCI’s MK Mishra withdraws power sharing chairmanship circus]; BCI's most successful chairman MK Mishra tag-teams role again with S Prabhakaran

MK Mishra: Perennial BCI chairman
MK Mishra: Perennial BCI chairman
The Bar Council of India (BCI) unanimously voted in S Prabhakaran as its new chairman yesterday, for the next four months.

Legally India understands that the BCI also unanimously decided that Prabhakaran’s predecessor, Manan Kumar Mishra, will preside at the BCI as its chairman for the third time from May 2016 for a full term.

Election were held at the BCI’s office in Rouse Avenue yesterday.

Update 19:17: Apparently Mishra is upset about Prabhakaran holding himself out as BCI chairman in press reports. Mishra has commented to Bar & Bench that:

“After the election, I had told Prabhakaran that during my absence he may discharge the routine functions of the Council.”

After this development, Mishra has now withdrawn the concession given by him to Prabhakaran saying,

“In view of several contradictory, wrong and baseless press releases given by Prabhakaran, the concession granted by me yesterday is hereby withdrawn.”

Prabhakaran, however, told Bar & Bench that he would be chairman for four months.

Prabhakaran, the BCI member from the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, was last elected to office at the BCI as the regulator’s co-chairman in 2013.

Mishra was elected as the BCI’s chairman for the first time on 15 April 2012, for a two-year term.

After his term expired in April 2014, the BCI member from Rajasthan Biri Singh Sinsinwar was elected to the chair.

However, eight months into Sinsinwar’s term, in November 2014,  Mishra was re-elected as the BCI’s chairman.

Sinsinwar told Legally India today that he had resigned from his term because it was difficult to keep up with a busy legal practice in Jaipur while heading the regulator.

Prabhakaran is now therefore effectively fulfilling the original remainder of Sinsinwar’s two-year term until April, with Mishra already agreed to take over the post again in April.

Prabhakaran: Temporary substitute chairman
Prabhakaran: Temporary substitute chairman

Mishra and Prabhakaran were not reachable for comment.

Prabhakaran is a three-time president of the Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA) and he is currently also presiding over the Tamil Nadu Advocates Association (TNAA), reported the Times of India. The Tamil Nadu bar council suspended 15 Madras lawyers, in September, from practice for alleged violence.

Mishra, who will man the helm of the regulator for his second two-year-term, and practically for the third time since 2012, has been the chairman under whom the Bar Council of India accredited at least 400 new law colleges, outsourced the bar exam contract to an agency with an absent track-record even when the BCI had other highly-competitive exam-conducting agencies offering cheaper rates to conduct the exam, awarded and renewed the bar exam outsourcing contract in a dubious manner, and never once followed former BCI chairman Gopal Subramaniam’s policy of publishing BCI meeting minutes online.

Full Disclosure: BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra has sent a legal notice to Legally India for its story about the BCI’s tender for the contract to run AIBE V. Legally India has responded to Mishra’s notice but has received no further response from Mishra.

Also read: Legally India’s full report on the ITES tender process and history of the AIBE.

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