The Orissa High Court on Monday directed the State Bar Council to ensure that the elections to form the executive bodies of all 167 bars in the State are completed by this month-end on the principle of ‘one bar, one vote’.
The High Court also quashed the February 24 resolution passed by the Bar Council in which at least 12 bar associations, including the Cuttack body, were given the liberty to hold their elections at a later date.
Deciding on a PIL filed in this connection, a Division Bench headed by Chief Justice K.S. Jhaveri made it clear that the elections to different bars in the State should be held simultaneously on the principle of ‘one bar, one vote’.
Briefing newsmen, senior advocate Ashok Mohapatra said the court has acted in accordance to a judgment passed earlier by the Supreme Court. “Even the Bar Council of India and the State Bar Council have passed similar resolutions,” he said.
‘One bar, one vote’ rule was set by the Supreme Court in 2015 to identify the number of genuine advocates practising in different courts of the country. The rule allows multiple memberships of different bars, but one voting right to one advocate.
Bar associations of the State have already been provided with respective voters’ list indicating the individual advocate’s choice of bar to participate in the annual elections to form its executive body by the end of March 2019.