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Breaking: SCBA pres PH Parekh quits after heated ‘one bar one vote’ debate with RamJet

RamJet at heart of SCBA drama today (Photo: @DKMahant)
RamJet at heart of SCBA drama today (Photo: @DKMahant)
Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president PH Parekh has verbally resigned over the ‘one bar one vote’ controversy in a packed SCBA meeting held in Supreme Court lawns this afternoon, according to authoritative sources.

“Should be VERY interesting,” tweeted lawyer DK Mahant under the handle @DKMahant at 4:02pm in anticipation, as he made his way to the SCBA meeting. At 4:38pm at the meeting, he tweeted: “All lawyers ridiculing the judgement by Supreme Court in SCBA matter. Heated exchange.”

The subject of ridicule was the ‘one vote per bar association member’ Supreme Court judgment from September 2011, in which the court decided that those voting in SCBA elections must give an undertaking that they would not vote in any other bar associations. [Download the judgment here]

It is understood that SCBA members were upset that Parekh and the SCBA had not done enough to oppose the judgment between December 2011 and January of this year. Parekh was elected to the SCBA in a narrow election victory against outgoing SCBA president Ram Jethmalani in May 2011, which Jethamalani had immediately challenged.

At 4:42pm, PH Parekh started addressing the assembled SCBA crowd. Only two minutes later, at 4:44pm, Jethmalani tried to address the meeting during Parekh’s speech but then sat down again, according to Mahant.

But by 4:46pm Jethmalani had possession of the microphone. Legal journalist Sumit Nagpal, tweeting under the handle @sumit_nagpal, sent an update: “Mr. Jethmalani starts addressing the meeting. Silence now!!”

“Awesome,” commented Mahant at the time.

At around 4:48pm “Mr. Jethmalani [was] cautioning advocates from using strong language against Supreme Court & Judges”, reported Mahant but by 4:50pm Parekh was speaking again.

According to Mahant’s live Twitter update lawyers were objecting to Parekh at that time.

@DKMahant: 'All lawyers ridiculing the judgement by Supreme Court in SCBA matter. Heated exchange.' (Photo: @DKMahant)
@DKMahant: 'All lawyers ridiculing the judgement by Supreme Court in SCBA matter. Heated exchange.' (Photo: @DKMahant)

Next, Parekh said that the lawyers at the meeting should pay attention to Rajiv Khosla’s proposed motion, which proposed to dissolve the committee that was formed to implement the Supreme Court ‘one bar one vote’ judgment.

Furthermore, the resolution said that the SCBA should take action against advocates who had appeared in that case, allegedly without filing a vakalatnama. Third, the motion also opposed that lawyers contesting, voting or taking part in the SCBA elections must have a minimum of 50 Supreme Court appearances per year.

Commotion followed at 4:45pm. “Police might be required,” quipped Mahant.

Then PH Parekh dropped the unexpected bombshell announcement: “Mr. Parekh resigns as president of SCBA. He announced on stage,” said Mahant.

Mahant later told Legally India that although under the SCBA rules a written resignation was required, it would be hard for Parekh to undo his verbal resignation with hundreds of advocates present at the meeting, which was also recorded on video.

“No more temporary members in SCBA. Awesome. Face reality SCBA,” commented a tweet by Mahant. “Committee of Mr. Jethmalani & Mr. Khosla to take charge for now.”

Parekh was unreachable for comment at the time of going to press.

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