New Delhi, March 16 : The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has written a letter to Chief Justice S.A. Bobde criticising the denial of permission to it to use the SC auditorium for the farewell to Justice Indu Malhotra, who retired on March 13.
The letter, by SCBA President and senior advocate Vikas Singh, said: “As far as the auditorium is concerned, it was clearly discussed in my earlier tenure as President of the SCBA that the facilities being created would be for the joint utilisation of the SCBA as well as the judges of the Supreme Court with the only rider that if the facilities were being required by both simultaneously, then the judges will have precedence.”
The bar body demanded it should be allowed to use the auditorium too and termed the denial of the venue to hold the farewell for Justice Malhotra as “most unfortunate”.
Contending that the auditorium, constructed at the earlier site of Appu Ghar in the capital, was meant for joint usage by judges and registry of the top court as well as the SCBA, it protested the decision that the facilities would only be used by and for the official functions of the judges or of the Supreme Court, and the SCBA was not permitted to use the auditorium for any purpose.
“Clearly, the said decision is most arbitrary and liable to be recalled forthwith as the property of the government handed over to the Supreme Court for its use clearly implies that the property would be jointly used by the judges and registry of the Supreme Court along with the SCBA on equal rights basis and the SCBA cannot be construed as a stranger in asserting its rights on the property handed over to the Supreme Court,” the letter stated.
The letter said if the registry requires more space to cater to the additional work being handled by it, “similarly, the SCBA also requires additional space to cater to accretion in the number of members in the association as also providing for additional library, additional waiting areas..”
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