A GROUP of lawyers on Tuesday protested against the State Advocate General’s office here and demanded his resignation alleging that the AG had scant respect for the Bar and many advocates were denied entry in a function recently graced by President APJ Abdul Kalam.
They alleged the AG was misusing his office to divide the Bar. The protest was the fallout of the differences between Advocate General R. N Singh and High Court Bar Association president Adarsh Muni Trivedi over the invitation to the HC golden jubilee function on October 12.
A day before President’s visit, some advocates of the Bar protested against the AG saying that they haven’t got the invitation cards for the function. The protesters had also met Chief Justice A K Patnaik and things had become normal after the lawyers were assured that they would get entry to the function.
Singh said all the advocates were invited to the function and he didn’t favour anyone. ‘I am also the member of the Bar Association,’ he said.
Singh expressed his surprise over the fact that the aggrieved lawyers waited till Tuesday to air their grievances. He accused the protesters of having burnt the photocopies of the invitation cards, which were given to them for the function, a day ahead of President’s visit.
Singh also stoutly denied that his office was anyway trying to devide the lawyers. Without naming Bar president Adarsh Muni Trivedi, he said the association was running with one office-bearer as almost all the other office-bearers of the Bar have resigned after completion of their tenure in August.
Over 400 advocates have asked for convening the general body meeting of the Bar to clear way for elections. Trivedi accused Singh of having become an authoritarian and as one who had no respect for the bar. He said that some 450 members of the association had to stand outside during the function. Though he did not name the ruling BJP, he said members of a particular political party attended the function.
Trivedi alleged that the AG’s office with the help of the State Government machinery was threatening the bar office-bearers to resign. He said the general body of the association was empowered to take a decision on fresh elections to the bar.
Usually, the elections to the association take place after 15 or 18 months, he said adding that TS Ruprah, Additional Advocate General remained president of the Association for nearly 15 months. However, ‘‘We have already decided about the date of next elections of the Bar Association elections,’’ he said.