The Delhi High Court today asked the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Advocate Ashok Arora if they were open to mediation by a retired judge of the Supreme Court to resolve their dispute.
It's acceptable, provided someone decides in a couple of days, Arora said. He told the Court that the tenure of the present office-bearers is coming to an end on December 10. Senior Advocate Arvind Nigam appearing for Supreme Court Bar Association submitted that he would seek instructions from his client on this aspect.
A Single Judge Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta was hearing Arora's challenge to his removal from the post of Secretary of the SCBA.
"After all, this is between the members", the Court said, indicating that the challenge may then be disposed of.
Today, Arora sought an interim stay on his ouster. He argued that his removal was void ab initio because it was in violation of Rule 35 of the SCBA Rules.
The Executive Committee has no power to suspend or expel a member because as per Rule 35, the power to suspend or expel a member was with the General House of the Association and same had to be decided after an inquiry into a complaint of misconduct is carried out by a committee.
Arora further argued that "all principles of natural justice were thrown to the wind" as the resolution on his removal was passed under the signatures of the "interested parties" such as the Joint Secretary, Treasurer etc.
"Electorate cannot be betrayed, which is the most important issue in this case" Arora submitted.
The Executive Committee of the SCBA had passed a resolution on May 8, suspending Arora from the post of secretary with immediate effect in a meeting held through an online conference. The suspension had come a day after Arora had called an Emergent General Meeting (EGM) of the lawyers’ body on May 11 to deliberate on the agenda for removing senior advocate Dushyant Dave from the post of SCBA President.
The Executive Committee had also cancelled the proposed EGM and decided to set up a three-member panel to look into the allegations against Arora, an SCBA official had said.
The official had said the decision to suspend Arora was taken by the majority of participating lawyers. After hearing Arora at length, the Court proceeded to
adjourn the hearing to September 7.
Senior Advocate Arvind Nigam and Rajiv Nayar were representing the SCBA and BCI was represented by Advocate Rajdipa Behura.
Advocate Ashok Arora has also filed a defamation case against Sr. Advocate Dushyant Dave, alleging "mental torture" against him from the moment he was elected SCBA Secretary.