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CJI's intervention sought to end corruption in Tamil Nadu Bar Council election

J. Venkatesan

New Delhi: Even as civil society members led by social activist Anna Hazare are actively engaged in drafting Lokpal Bill, a group of lawyers expressing concern over corruption in Tamil Nadu Bar Council's election has sought the intervention of the Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia to put an end to this menace.

In a memorandum sent to the CJI, the lawyers said that elections took place recently for the post of 25 members to the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. These new members should elect the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and one member to represent the Council at the Bar Council of India.

They alleged that that most of the members of the new Bar Council was quoting or offering lakhs of rupees for being elected to any one of these three posts.

The memorandum pointed out that Justice K.P. Sivasubramaniam, a retired High Court judge, who was appointed by the Madras High Court as observer for the elections held for the 25 posts of the Council, in his report, fairly admitted and conceded that he could not totally eliminate corruption and unfair election practices in the conduct of elections.

In his report he had also stated that Bar Council members were indulging in rampant corruption by misusing Welfare Stamps and Funds.

The High Court in its order had pointed out that Bar Associations in various parts of Tamil Nadu were auctioned by office-bearers for a lump sum payment in lieu of en masse voting.

The memorandum said, “We consider that it is our ordained duty to bring the rampant corruption, irregularities, horse-trading and other ugly happenings being perpetrated at the hands of Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.”

It said that unless the CJI intervened immediately to put an end to this menace, “then we all will be guilty of inaction and indifference.”

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