Madras HC orders election for MHAA with existing bye-laws

The division bench of Justice R Mahadevan and Justice Mohammed Shaffiq passed the orders on disposing of a review application filed by K Sathyabal, an advocate who claims to be a member of MHAA.
Madras High Court
Madras High Court

CHENNAI: Observing that the conduct of the election for Madras High Court Advocates’ Association is the need of the hour, which has been delayed for nearly four years, a division bench of Madras High Court ordered that the election has to be conducted with the existing bye-laws in a transparent and fair manner.

The division bench of Justice R Mahadevan and Justice Mohammed Shaffiq passed the orders on disposing of a review application filed by K Sathyabal, an advocate who claims to be a member of MHAA.

The bench approved the suggestion of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry and appointed a seven-member teller committee that includes senior advocate KA Kabir to conduct the election at the earliest by following the existing Bye-laws of the MHAA.

The court has also been ordered to strictly follow the ‘one Bar one vote’ method. “The verification of the electoral roll, payment of subscription, and eligibility of the list of members to vote shall be made within a period of four weeks, ” the bench held.

The judges also noted that if the list was not already verified and the publication of the list of eligible members shall be completed within four weeks. “Followed by-election notification, date of nomination, etc. However, the election shall be completed within a period of 90 days i.e., on or before January 1, 2023,” the judges ordered.

The petitioner sought a direction to review the order passed by another bench of HC on August 18, 2021, allowing the MHAA election with several crucial observations pertaining to the eligibility of candidates who contest for the posts of president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, librarian, senior ex committee members, and junior ex committee members.

The petitioner claimed that he did not argue for such directions and that his prayers were simply for disposing of his representation dated June 25, 2019, to the BC of TN and PY to conduct a free and fair election for MHAA.

Sathyabal also noted that while MHAA is governed by its own bye-laws approved by the general council, the directions in the judgment seem to override the bye-laws and usurp the powers of the general body of the MHAA.

However, senior counsel KE Chellappa argued that the division bench of the Madras HC, had framed those guidelines in the matter of conduct of election to the MHAA and it does not warrant a review now.

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