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Aggarwala pitches to postpone scba polls to Jan, for ‘fairness’ to 900 deleted voters

Old-timers hit the SCBA presidential campaign again, with new voter list

Adish Aggarwala: Proposes delay in SCBA elections
Adish Aggarwala: Proposes delay in SCBA elections

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) elections may be postponed to January, out of fairness to the SC advocates whose names were removed without proper notice from the SCBA voter list, if the election committee agrees to the request of presidential candidate Adish Aggarwala.

Senior advocates Aggarwala, Vikas Singh, Kailash Vasdev, Rajiv Dutta and RS Suri are contesting for the president;s post this time, while outgoing president Dushyant Dave is not contesting due to an internal bar against contesting after two consecutive presidential terms.

Aggarwala has written to the election committee to relax the schedule of the 14 December SCBA poll to give an opportunity to the advocates to file their objections to the latest voter list which has the names of 1592 SC advocates on it.

The voter list this year has shrunk by around 700 names since the 2015 SCBA elections, said Aggarwala explaining that around 900 advocates were removed from it and around 200 new advocates were added on to it this time.

He said that the election committee had scheduled 1 December as the last date for filing objections to this voters list, but instead of releasing the list on the designated date of 28 November, the committee released it on the night of 29 November. Furthermore the committee only pasted it on the Supreme Court’s notice board, instead of publishing it on the SCBA’s official website.

He said that the SCBA’s official website scbaindia.org was not working. Indeed the links on the website led to error pages when we tried at the time of publication.

“[Polls need to be postponed] because you can’t deprive the voters. There have been so many mistakes as well. The subscription has been paid by a specific member but has not been credited in his account. And maybe that member is not aware that their name has been removed. So they will feel: ‘I have paid the money and now not allowed [to vote]’,” he commented.

The SCBA subscription fee for the current cycle, which ends on 28 February, was Rs 1500 for advocates and Rs 4000 for senior advocates.
Aggarwala said that his major voter base comprised of “all the lawyers who have been deprived of their rights”. He said that the regular SC practitioners, as per the eligibility conditions laid down in the SC’s judgement in the case of BD Kaushik, were only about 4000 in number, but that chambers were allotted to many advocates who did not practice regularly in the SC, and that he would focus on changing this position.

He said that if elected, he will also look into the issue of allowing the SC’s regularly practicing advocates entry through the gate next to the Pragati Maidan metro station and entry from the gate facing the Indian Law Institute to the back side of the Supreme Court.
Aggarwala was the vice president of the SCBA during the term of senior advocate PH Parekh as president in 2012.

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