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AORs to blackball Abhishek Manu Singhvi SC practice over scandal


The Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) has requested advocates-on-record (AORs) to blacklist senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Wednesday, after the politician’s involvement in a “disquieting … incident”.

The SCAORA in a general body meeting (GBM) on Wednesday recommended that AORs and SCAORA members in particular should refrain from briefing Singhvi in any matter. SCAORA president Sushil Kumar Jain did not vote in favour of the resolution resolution.

The resolution condemned “the incident pertaining to Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi which is now in the public domain” and added that “the incidents that have occurred thereafter have caused a disquiet among members of legal fraternity”, according to a number of publications.

The resolution was ratified by SCAORA’s executive committee yesterday and was to be sent to disciplinary bodies – Bar Council of India (BCI), and Bar Council of Delhi, besides the Chief Justice of India and the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. A copy of the resolution has been uploaded by legal website Bar & Bench.

Outside the resolution, it was proposed to disrobe Singhvi of his senior gown if charges of professional misconduct were proved against him, according to the Daily Pioneer.

The paper added that the Singhvi matter was not in the official agenda of Wednesday’s meeting but that it was taken up orally by the executive committee at the GBM after the request of an SCAORA member.

Order 4 Rule 2(b)(ii) of the Supreme Court Rules 1966 prohibits a designated senior from appearing in the Supreme Court without an AOR. Rule 6(b) of Order 4 forbids any advocate other than an AOR to file an appearance and act for a party in the Supreme Court. [Read in-depth analysis of and interview on the AOR system]

Advocate Balraj Malik had challenged these rules last year as being unconstitutional for unfairly monopolising Supreme Court practice in favour of Advocates on Record. The Delhi high court dismissed Malik’s petition on 13 February 2012.

Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president PH Parekh told Legally India yesterday that the SCBA had not passed such a resolution, contradicting a Press Trust of India (PTI) report that the SCBA had passed a resolution on Wednesday censuring Singhvi.

However, the Pioneer noted that the SCBA was “contemplating to pass a resolution”.

Last month Abhishek Manu Singhvi was allegedly captured on video involved in “sexual acts” which was circulated widely but which Singhvi’s driver Mukesh Lal had later admitted to forging. The Delhi High Court had issued an injunction against publication of the CD by three media houses, on 16 April 2012. A number of papers reported that the court had later passed a permanent John Doe injunction against publication by anyone, although Legally India was not able to obtain that court order.

Delhi High Court chief justice AK Sikri’s bench had dismissed an advocate’s petition seeking direction to the Bar Council of Delhi and the Delhi Bar Association to investigate the CD controversy, and Singhvi’s dropping of his FIR against Lal in an out of court settlement.

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