Factionalism in the Indore high court bar association came to the fore on Tuesday, after it passed a resolution to terminate the membership of four advocates who had defied the bar’s call to boycott work on April 30 this year.
In an extraordinary general body meeting (EOGM), the bar passed the resolution to terminate their membership for life.
On April 30, the bar had asked the members to boycott work in a sign of protest against the setting up of a circuit bench in Bhopal.
The association passed the resolution against senior advocate AK Sethi, his sons advocate Rahul Sethi and Rishabh Sethi, and deputy additional advocate general Banwarilal Yadav for defying the bar’s decision.
On May 7, the advocates were issued show-cause notices by the bar and were asked to provide reasons for defying the bar’s order. Irked by the bar’s show-cause notice, advocate Rahul Sethi slapped a contempt notice on the office-bearers of the bar on May 7, citing a 2003 Supreme Court verdict in ex-
Captain Harish Uppal vs. Union of India, where the apex court had ruled that abstaining from court work would amount to professional misconduct and initiating any action against them would amount to contempt of court.
After hearing the contempt notice filed by advocate Sethi on Tuesday afternoon, Justice SC Sharma directed the bar to not initiate any action against the petitioners.
But neglecting the court’s order, the bar went ahead and passed the resolution against the four advocates. However, association secretary advocate Anil Ojha said: "We did not receive a certified copy of the court order."
He said: "The resolution was passed in the meeting by more than 300 advocates and was signed by more than 550 advocates."
However, Sethi said: "The bar has again defied the court orders and this will amount to contempt."