The Bar Council of India today made a submission before a division bench of the Supreme Court of India headed by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, Mr. Jagdish Singh Khehar submitting to the direction of the Supreme Court of India to hold election to the Bar Council of J&K for the first time in accordance with the Advocates Act, 1961 which was introduced in J&K in 1986 but not implemented till date.
Prof.Bhim Singh in the latest writ petition which he filed in 2013 came for hearing today before the bench of the Hon’ble Chief Justice with Mr. Justice N.V. Ramana and Mr. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud. The court had directed the Union of India to issue notification as per resolution of the Bar Council of India which had framed the Constitution for J&K Bar Council on the instructions of the Supreme Court in the writ petition, “Bhim Singh vs. Union of India and Ors.”. The Union of India had declined to notify the direction/order of the Bar Council of India in this regard on the pretext that the situation in Kashmir was not conducive to hold election to the Bar Council of J&K. Prof.Bhim Singh had strongly protested against this authoritarian decision of the Union of India and urged the Supreme Court of India to issue appropriate direction for the enforcement of the resolution passed by the Bar Council of India to hold election to the Bar Council of J&K which has been the practice in all the states/provinces of the Union of India.
The Supreme Court had directed the Bar Council to explain their position this day, 3rd February, 2017.
The Bar Council instead of arguing against the writ petition of Prof.Bhim Singh submitted a letter signed by Bar Council of India and forwarded for publication in the Govt. Gazette at the earliest. The letter stated that,
“It may be kindly noted that the Bar Council of India is a statutory body constituted under the Advocates Act, 1961. It is an autonomous body and does not fall under any Ministry of the Government as per the Advocates Act, 1961. The Advocates Act, 1961 empowers Bar Council of India to lay down its own rules and to also approve rules made by the State Bar Councils as per Section 7, Section 15 (3) and Section 49 of the Advocates Act, 1961. Thus, the rule made or approved by the Bar Council of India is/are not required to be approved by any Ministry.
Therefore, the aforesaid rules made by Jammu and Kashmir High Court (discharging functions of State Bar Council in absence of the same in the concerned State) duly approved by the Bar Council of India under Section 15(3) read with Section 49 of the Advocates Act, 1961 may be immediately published in the Official Gazette.”
Prof.Bhim Singh expressed gratitude to the Supreme Court and the Hon’ble Chief Justice for giving a chance to the lawyers fraternity in J&K to share the privileges granted under the Advocates Act, 1961 and elect their own Bar Council for the first time after 56 years of the implementation of Advocates Act, 1961. Prof.Bhim Singh said that the Supreme Court shall announce its final order tomorrow, i.e. 6thFebruary, 2017, which may go down in the history of J&K as a victory day for the lawyers fraternity.