By Pervez Bari
New Delhi: The All India Lawyers Council, (AILC), was launched in the meeting of advocates gathered at India International Centre, New Delhi here on Saturday. Advocate K.M. Ashraf welcomed the gathering.
Justice Ravindra inaugurate session
Rtd. Justice Ravindra Singh, Allahabad High Court, inaugurated the session. In the inaugural address he said: “The country as a whole is in turmoil. Lead role has to be played by the intellectuals. Among the intellectuals, the lawyers are on the top. We have to take the lead, because in every field and every sphere of life, there is a political interference. Peaceful agitation is our democratic right. The lawyers have to lead the society. Judiciary as a whole, I have no hesitation to say that, it is under attack. We should be very careful. In case, the judiciary is under attack, the democracy will not survive. For saving the judiciary, the lawyers, not the judges, have to come forward. They can protect the judiciary. Judges may come for particular time. They come and go, but, you are there. This is a very tough period for the judiciary also. The lawyers are feeling not happy in the working as well as the decisions taken by the government”.
In his key note address Adv. Sharfuddin Ahmad, National Vice-President of Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI), said: “The State has been turned into an instrument at the hands of capitalistic forces, the media is reduced as propaganda machine promoting the anti-people programmes of the government and hostility among various sections particularly between Hindus and Muslims. The dissent and disagreement to the government policies and programmes are being branded as anti-national”.
Sanjay Hegde, Senior advocate of Supreme Court, in his address pointed out that the lawyers are the soldiers of the Constitution. For 70 years, the Constitution kept the nation united. If the Constitution fails, the nation would fail.
P.K. Ibrahim, Advocate of Kerala High Court, said, “All our constitutional systems including the judiciary are facing the unprecedented threat. It is the need of the hour to protect the constitutional values at any cost”.
Mehmood Pracha, Advocate of Supreme Court, said that the press conference conducted by the sitting judges of Supreme Court few years back, itself indicated the alarming situation prevailing in the judicial system. Women and children are in the forefront of the peaceful protests across the country to protect the Constitution. The lawyers are duty bound to protect them legally.
Advocate Ehiya from Madras High Court, also addressed the audience. There was an interactive session of the participants on different legal issues.
Election of office bearers, committee members held
Meanwhile, the election of the office bearers and committee members was held in the afternoon session.
Rtd. Justice Ravindra Singh, Allahabad High Court, was elected as the President. Advocates K.M. Ashraf (Kerala), Ashok Arora (Delhi), Raghunath (Telangana), Khaja Javed Yusuf (West Bengal) and R. Sevvilamparithi (Tamilnadu) are the vice presidents.
Adv. Sharfuddin Ahmad, Delhi, was elected as General Secretary while Advocates H. Mohan Kumar (Karnataka), Mir Masud Khan (Hyderabad) and Mrs. Dilshad Sheikh (Mumbai) as the Secretaries. Adv. P.K. Ibrahim (Kerala) was elected as the Treasurer.
Advocates K.P. Mohamad Shareef (Kerala), J.D. Kashinath (Bangalore), A. Mohammed Yusuff (Tamil Nadu), Shashank Singh (Delhi), Zamrud Sultana (Andhra Pradesh), Farooq M. Mansuri (Rajasthan), Azhar Kareem (Bihar), Sikandar Vohra (Gujarat), Ajmal Khan (Uttar Pradesh), Abdul Hasib Quazi (Madhya Pradesh), S.A. Chauhan (Haryana), Haider Ali (Jharkhand), Mohammad Sorab Hossain (West Bengal), Mohammed Ehiya (Chennai), K.C. Naseer (Kerala), Rizwan Ahmad (Delhi), Abdul Majid Khan (Mangalore), Jahangir Badhusha (Madurai), Adil Sharfuddin (Delhi) and A. Raja Mohammed (Chennai) were elected as the committee members.
After the election, Adv. P.K. Ibrahim, Treasurer read over the Preamble of the Constitution and the same was recited by the newly elected office-bearers, committee members and audience.
Adv. Mohan Kumar of Karnataka proposed the vote of thanks. Lawyers from 15 states viz. Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu participated in the programme.
In all seven resolutions were passed in the meeting of advocates which are as follows:
1. The inaugural programme of All India Lawyers Council, (AILC), held at India International Centre, New Delhi on 8th February 2020, calls upon all secular and like-minded legal fraternity to condemn the divisive and unconstitutional Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 – CAA passed by the BJP government at the Centre. The ruling BJP government has totally undermined the basic structure of Constitution of India and passed the CAA. This Act completely tarnishes the values of our Constitution. The AILC condemns the BJP Government and demands the immediate withdrawal of the discriminatory Act, which is against very basic idea of India and secular fabric of the nation. The AILC also demands to scrap the move of related procedures such as National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
2. The AILC condemns the brutal suppression of democratic rights by the Central Government targeting the people who fight to save the Constitution legally and democratically. The central government has to come forward to consider the dissenting voice of the people.
3. The AILC welcomes the decision of seven state governments which have decided not to implement the CAA and also those states have to boycott the upcoming NPR and NRC. We request other non-BJP state governments to follow the same for the sake of the protection of the Constitutional values.
4. The AILC condemns the state governments ruled by BJP viz., Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Assam; and being influenced by BJP such as Tamil Nadu for using the indiscriminate police force against the peaceful protests, foisting false cases and conducting arbitrary arrests and harassing the family members of the victims. We demand the governments to stop arbitrary arrests and harassments and to withdraw the false cases filed against peaceful protesters.
5. The so-called independent and impartial investigation agencies such as NIA, CBI, Enforcement Directorate (ED) and departments and Constitutional institutions such as Income Tax, Election Commission of India, RBI, CAG, UGC, etc., have been misused by the Central BJP Government as political tools against those raise the voice against the anti-people policies of the Central Government. It is against the basic spirit of the Indian Constitution. The AILC demands that these agencies should have to assert their own credibility to work independently and to regain the trust of the citizens.
6. Recently, the lawyers who are concerned about the anti-constitutional agenda of the ruling BJP government also targeted by the police and different agencies of the government and have been booked in the false cases in many instances of political vendetta. The AILC demands the Central Government for its course correction and to enact The Advocates Protection Act to protect the rights and privileges of the legal fraternity.
7. Unfortunately, the common people have lost trust in the election process and the credibility of elected members are under suspicion due to the allegations emerged about the tampering of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), widely in the recent elections. A number of litigations are pending before the Apex court challenging the mismatching number of votes between total polled votes and votes acquired by the contested parties. We cannot see this litigation as any other usual case; but it exposes the failure of the system of highest level of democracy. It damages and deteriorates the very basic principles of representative democracy, which should never to be allowed to continue in future. To retain the sanctity and the credibility of the election process, the AILC demands to the Election Commission of India to reinstate the paper ballot system, even if it is a time consuming exercise, for the sake of the protection of the representative democracy with immediate effect.