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Bar body internally plagued by turbulent state of affairs: SCBA President

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) is internally plagued by a "turbulent state of affairs" with allegations of unauthorised use of funds, misuse of organisations name and rifts between members, its president Rakesh Khanna said on Monday.
In a letter to the members of the apex court advocates' body, Khanna said it had been projected that a recently held legal conference by a media house was organised in partnership with SCBA but the Bar's Executive Committee (EC) had not at any point resolved to be a partner to any such conference.
Khanna clarified that SCBA, in its resolution dated April 11, 2019, had specifically resolved that decisions taken by its sub-committee will have to be placed before the EC for approval before execution.
"No such resolution or decision had been placed before the EC for any such permission/ partnership in a conference organised by...to be held in Mumbai nor did the EC at any point of time resolve to be a partner to any such conference. The information about this programme was never communicated to me or to the members of SCBA," he said in the letter.
Khanna further said some members have even expressed their resentment over the whole issue by asking how much money has SCBA taken to lend its name.
He said that apex court judge Justice N V Ramana and other dignitaries, who were present at the legal conference, were completely misled in as far as association/ partnership of SCBA with the media house for the conference was concerned.
"Your discontent and resentment has been noticed by me and some members have even gone to the extent of venting out their anger by asking how much money has SCBA taken to lend its name. As the president of SCBA, I concur with and join you all in the resentment and anguish against the manner in which the SCBA platform has been exploited and misused," he said.
The use of SCBA's name and its logo without intimation or consent of the EC is completely "unauthorised, unethical and illegal", he said.
He also pointed out the issue of unauthorised payment of SCBA funds of several lakhs for which an enquiry committee has been constituted and said that all kinds of efforts were put to disband the committee.
"To begin with, the Finance Sub-Committee unearthed a case of what looked like unauthorised and unapproved payment of SCBA funds to the tune of several lakhs for which the EC in one of its meeting in February 2019 resolved to constitute an Enquiry Committee of three members -- senior advocates Shekhar Naphade, Amrendra Saran and C U Singh," he said.
"Immediately thereafter all kinds of allurements and pressure tactics started to which some of the EC members evidently fell prey. All kinds of efforts were put to disband the enquiry committee as also the finance sub-committee," Khanna said.

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First Published: Apr 29 2019 | 7:50 PM IST

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