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The top issues the SCBA raised with the bench: We’re all family

Dave: 'Clear feeling that bench truly treats bar as family'
Dave: 'Clear feeling that bench truly treats bar as family'

In the wake of the bar’s stand-off with the Supreme Court bench, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has now shared a note of the meeting of the “committee to oversee implementation of suggestions by SCBA” and a letter by SCBA president Dushyant Dave:

Dearest Judges,

On behalf of the SCBA, the Executive Committee and myself, I thank you very sincerely for convening the Meeting on August 4, 2015, the warm and supportive deliberations and the actions agreed to be taken in respect of various issues raised by the SCBA I take the liberty, with your permission, to place the deliberations in the accompanying Note for the information of thousands of Members of the SCBA, who are anxiously waiting to know the outcome of the same.

Sirs, I must express deep sense of satisfaction at the warm and cordial hospitality extended to our delegation comprising of Shri KK Venugopal, Senior Advocate, Shri Kapil Sibal, Senior Advocate, Shri V Shekhar, Senior Advocate and Vice-President, and Ms. Aishwarya Bhati, Hony. Secretary and myself at the said Meeting.

I have no doubt that with the positive approach demonstrated by You Sir, and your Hon’ble Colleagues, the issues which have confronted thousands of Members of the SCBA for a long-long time will be addressed for satisfactory Resolutions.

I and my colleagues came back with a clear feeling that the bench truly treats the Bar as part of its family.I must also express our thanks to the Officials of the Registry who were present and who made their contributions in the deliberations and extended their support.

With Respects,

DUSHYANT A DAVE

Senior Advocate

President Supreme Court Bar Association

Encl: Accompanying Note

In December of last year and in July of this year, the SCBA had called for a boycott of all official functions with the Supreme Court judges for hearing their “just requests”.

Highlights of the note

The lengthy note stated that Justice TS Thakur asked why the committee should be called a grievance redressal committee when the bar was a part of the family of Supreme Court and could therefore have no grievances. This lead to renaming the grievance redressal committee to “committee to oversee implementation of suggestions by SCBA”.

Security measures: The SCBA discussed the need of improving security measures at the Supreme Court premises. The Judges of the Supreme Court agreed to this and informed that the Supreme Court has already “requested Government of India and concerned agencies to undertake a thorough and comprehensive review of the Supreme Court premises and of those connected with it at the earliest.”

Entry of interns at the Supreme Court was also curtailed due to security threats.

Designated Bar Room: The SCBA noted that the bar room in every court in the country was a “melting pot for lawyers to sit, to mingle and to discuss and to relax” and demanded that a space of at least 5000 square feet be allotted for a bar room.

The note also stated that the “Hon’ble Judges in one voice agreed that the SCBA must have a Bar room. They expressed surprise that there wasn’t one existing for decades.”

The SCBA asked for bar room at the location of the space reserved for two additional court rooms in the main building, which is taken up for consideration by the Judges.

Parking issues: The SCBA talked about decongesting the parking by demanding removal of closure of space all along the length of outside wall of Supreme Court and also by having additional exit gate next to gate E at Mathura Road.The judges agreed to discuss the issue with security agencies at a larger security audit.

Canteen: The SCBA proposed having canteen space in place of cycle stand space in the centre of AK Sen/ RK Garg chamber blocks. Subject to approval by Urban Arts Commission, the proposal was accepted by the judges.

Active involvement by SCBA: In the Pragati Maidan project of the SCBA, the judges allowed involvement of SCBA officials. SCBA is now also allowed to involve and engage services of eminent interior designer to explore optimum utilization of the space. The judges also agreed for the SCBA to take up issue of construction of chamber blocks behind the Pragati Maidan Supreme Court complex with the Ministry of Urban Affairs.

Internet and mobile connectivity: The SCBA was told that MTNL had agreed to share its facility at the chamber block with other service providers like Airtel and Vodafone. On the issue of internet connectivity, Kapil Sibal was asked to intervene and use his “good offices” to impress on Vodafone and Airtel to give good services at reduced and competitive rates to members of the bar and also to its e-libraries.

The judges said that installation of e-kiosks and interactive screens has already been acceded to, that the process has already started and was fact at final stages.

The judges agreed to the suggestion of the SCBA that 45-minute long lunch breaks should be uniformly observed by all benches on miscellaneous hearing days. Various other methods to decongest the courts were also discussed and approved.

Other issues such as cleanliness and maintenance of washrooms, installation of wall fans, improvement of entry points were heard and agreed on by the judges.

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