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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

SCBA requests CJI to be made part of permanent committee

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NEW DELHI, March 18 (PTI): The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has written to Chief Justice DY Chandrachud requesting him for representation on the permanent committee which deals with creation of infrastructure and its utilisation by the Bar.

In a letter to the CJI, SCBA president Vikas Singh said due to lack of representation of the bar body in planning or actual creation of additional infrastructure, the requirement of the Bar is not adequately taken care of.

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“In fact, I can say with conviction that the accretion of space given to SCBA has not kept pace proportionality with the additional space created either due to the increase of Judges strength over a period of time or when the additional land was made available to the Supreme Court for building infrastructure.

“While the infrastructure meant for judges and registry has increased manifold, no corresponding increase in infrastructure has taken place for the facilities for SCBA members and the instances being that there is a very small/dingy lunch room for the Bar, there are not enough waiting spaces to wait for the lawyers in close proximity of the Courts with the result that the lawyers end up overcrowding the courts,” Singh said in a letter written on behalf of the SCBA.

The letter followed a recent courtroom spat between Chief Justice Chandrachud and the SCBA chief over allotment of a piece of land for constructing chambers for lawyers at Appu Ghar.

The two sides later called a truce and a bench headed by the CJI heard a petition by the SCBA on the issue.

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The SCBA chief said overcrowding is a big problem and  female members of the Bar, female litigants, women Supreme Court staff as well as members with special needs and the elderly have a harrowing experience while entering court.

“It is the need of the hour that the SCBA should be a part of the permanent Committee which deals with creation of the infrastructure and its utilisation so that our say can be taken both at the planning as well as implementation stage for ensuring that not only the needs of SCBA but also the needs of the litigants are taken care of both at the planning as well as implementation stage,” the SCBA said.

The bar body said while the Judges have created sufficient spaces for themselves as meeting rooms with the state-of-the-art facilities, have 3 Auditoriums for themselves and several other facilities created over a period of time, the SCBA has neither a room for its executive committee nor its secretary or president till date.

“The result being that whenever some foreign dignitaries or office bearers of the State Bar Associations or office bearers of Bar Councils etc. want to meet the Executive Committee of SCBA, there is no place for us to meet them or to even have a discussion with them. Even the meetings of the Executive Committee of SCBA are held in a cramped room next to the press lounge where the Executive Committee members (21 in number) are hardly able to squeeze in,” the letter said.

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The five-member Building and Precinct Supervisory Committee currently includes Justices Sanjiv Khanna, B R Gavai, Surya Kant, Vikram Nath and B V Nagarathna.

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The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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