SC directs SCBA to hold election with 30% reservation for women

New Delhi (| The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Supreme Court Bar Association to henceforth reserve a minimum 1/3rd of its posts for women in the lawyers’ body.
The reservation will come into effect “henceforth”, including the May 16 elections for 2024-2025.
A bench comprising Justice Surya Kant and Justice KV Viswanathan directed that their order should be implemented forthwith including the ensuing elections for 2024-2025 and categorically said that the post of Treasurer of SCBA should be reserved for a woman candidate.

The bench clarified that the reservation will not preclude eligible women members from contesting for other posts. The court announced the upcoming elections be held on May 16. The court clarified that 30 per cent reservation for women should be ensured in the upcoming elections for 2024-25.

The court directed that one post of the office bearers of SCBA shall be exclusively reserved for women by turn and on a rotation basis. The court stated that the exclusive women’s reservation will start with the post of Treasurer for the 2024-25 elections.
The court directed that there should be a minimum of 1/3rd of women’s reservation in the junior executive committee (3 out of 9) and in the senior executive committee (2 out of 6) of the SCBA. The court said that their present order will overrule any resolution passed by the SCBA.
The court directed that the counting of votes would commence on May 18. The results would be declared on May 19.
The term of the current committee expires on May 18. The election committee will comprise Senior Advocates Jaideep Gupta, Rana Mukherjee and Meenakshi Arora. The court’s order came on a petition filed by SCBA against its former Secretary B D Kaushik seeking reforms in the Bar’s election procedures. The court noted that eight resolutions seeking reforms included those on the membership eligibility conditions for candidates, changes in the admission fee of members and deposit fee of candidates, revision of the cap of four terms for a member to hold an SCBA post etc.
The resolutions failed in the Special General Body meeting held on April 30.
The court observed that the norms, eligibility conditions, fees etc. of the SCBA cannot remain static for decades and timely reforms are needed.
The Court eventually directed that the executive committee of the SCBA shall invite suggestions from all the members of the bar, and also post a public notice on its website.
All such suggestions have to be given by July 19 either in digital or print form, the court directed and said that these suggestions are to be compiled and placed before the Court. UNI SNG AKS SSP (UNI)