A WINDOW TO THE HISTORY OF BAR COUNCIL
After Reorganization of State, on 1st November 1956, on formation of State of Madhya Pradesh, High-Court of M.P. at Jabalpur was established & with its establishment the High Court Bar Council of M.P. was constituted with assets of hardly Rs. 20000/-. Bar Council functioned under the Bar Council Act 1926 for about six years. Subsequently the Advocates Act, 1961 came into force on 16th August 1961. The elections for the Members of the first Bar Council to be constituted under the Act were conducted by the High Court of Madhya Pradesh. The first meeting of the newly – constituted Bar Council was held on 13th January 1962. Late R.S.Dabir was elected the Chairman of the Council at the meeting. Late Shankerlal Dubey was elected the Vice – Chairman. Thereafter, the Council started functioning.
Shri R.K.Pandey was appointed Hon. Secretary of the Council, Late R.S.Dabir and R.K.Pandey devoted their energy and framed Rules of Procedure to be followed for transacting the business of the Council with the assistance of late Shankerlal Dubey. In the year 1963 paid full-time Secretary for the Council was appointed. By 1964 the Rules of the State Bar Council of M.P. were finalized. The Roll of Advocates practicing within the Jurisdiction of the Council was also prepared during this period. As the term of the first Bar Council was only two years, election of the Members for the next Bar Council took place in the year 1964.
During the term of the second Bar Council a Conference of various Bar Councils and the Bar Council of India was held at Jaipur and at this Conference various difficulties in the working of the Bar Councils under the Advocates Act were discussed. The Chairman of State Bar Council of M.P. Late R.S.Dabir made valuable suggestions at the Conference, as a result of deliberations at the Conference, amendments to the Advocates Act were made. Late R.S.Dabir, did not complete his term of office as Chairman and resigned due to ill health.
After the resignation of late R.S.Dabir, Shri L.P.Bhargava was elected Chairman of the Council. During his regime, Shri Bhargava moved for the construction of a building of its own for the Bar Council. Hon’ble Shri Bishambhar Dayal, who was the then Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh, co-operated and allotted a site within the premises of the High Court for the purpose. In the year 1969 fresh elections of the Members of the Council were held and Shri R.K.Pandey was elected as Chairman.
During the regime, of Shri R.K.Pandey, construction of the building of the Bar Council was started. Various welfare schemes for Advocates were also discussed. Shri Pandey also made efforts to bring in force “ Group Insurance Scheme “ for Advocates as was in force in U.P. Election to the next Council were held in 1974. Shri R.K.Pandey was again elected Chairman. During the term of this Council, various Welfare Schemes like “ Scheme of Library (Development) of the Bar Association in M.P., scheme for “ Giving Financial Assistance to Advocates Indigent and Disabled Advocates of M.P”. Scheme for providing “ Legal Aid " and Legal Advise to the Poor ” etc. were started. A Seminar on “ Legal Aid to the Poor “ was organized in the year 1975 at Jabalpur by the State Bar Council of M.P. which, was addressed by Hon’ble Shri Bhagwati & Hon’ble Shri Krishna Iyer, Judges of the Supreme Court of India.
In the year 1976 the Advocates Act was amended and Shri Nihlani, the then Advocate – General of M.P., took over as Chairman of the Council by virtue of his office. Shri S.L.Garg thereafter became the Advocate – General and as such became the Chairman.
After further amendment of Advocates Act, Shri L.S.Shukla was elected Chairman of the Council in 1978. During his term of Office, Chambers for Advocates were constructed in the Bar Council Building and were inaugurated by Hon’ble Shri A.P.Sen, the then Chief Justice of M.P. The Chambers have since been occupied. Provision for stay of Lawyers coming from out side in the Bar Council building was also made.
Bar Council also decided to construct Chambers at Indore and Gwalior Bench of High Court. The then Chairman Shri L.S.Shukla moved various proposals for the welfare of the Advocates with a view to secure the future of Advocates and to provide financial assistance to them when occasion arises.
His dream came to true when Government of Madhya Pradesh promulgated the " Madhya Pradesh Adhivakta Kalyan Nidhi Adhiniyam 1982 " due to which Advocates upto the age of sixty years were insured for Rs. 10,000/- under a Group Insurance Scheme of L.I.C. The Council faced a great loss on account of sad and sudden demise of Shri L.S.Shukla, Chairman who breath last on 26th August 1982. Thereafter from 27th August 1982 to 15th January 1983 the then Vice Chairman of the Council Shri Fakhruddin officiated as Chairman, State Bar Council of Madhya Pradesh. On 16th January 1983 the Council elected Shri L.P.Bhargava as its new Chairman who continued upto 9th March 1985 as Chairman of the Council. During his regime, the Council finalized the printing of Adhivakta Kalyan Nidhi Stamps as required under Adhivakta Kalyan Nidhi Adhiniyam 1982. In October 1983 the Council organized a Conference of Representatives of the Bar Associations at Jabalpur. Shri L.P.Bhargava, made great efforts due to which L.I.C started covering the Advocates upto the age of sixty nine years under the Group Insurance Scheme. Shri L.P.Bhargava, and the then President – Executive Committee Shri C.S.Chhazed made great efforts and due to which the foundation stone of building of State Bar Council of Madhya Pradesh at Indore was laid down by the then Chief Justice of M.P Shri Justice G.L. Ojha. The Council as per its previous traditions continued to express its opinion on various questions of prime importance related to administration of Justice and questions related to common benefits of Advocates. The Council through a resolution opined that there shall not be any Bench of Supreme Court except at New Delhi. It also called upon the Central Government to give priority to the Advocates in allotment of telephone. It also called upon the Bar Council of India for delegating the power of inspection of Law Colleges to the State Bar Council to the respective jurisdiction in order to have an effective supervisory control in Legal Education.
In the year 1984 the fresh elections of Members was held. The Council in first meeting on 10th March 1985 unanimously elected Shri Rameshwar Neekhra, M.P. as its new Chairman. In this term of the Council various welfare oriented steps doe Advocate were taken. Due to the efforts made by Shri Neekhra the State Government donated Rs. 5 lacs to the Council for development of Libraries of the Bar Associations. Nearly two hundred fifty Bar Associations of the State of M.P. were given financial assistance from this fund. The Council started giving financial assistance to the Advocates under Advocate Welfare Fund of Bar Council of India. The Council also expressed its concern on the standard of Legal Education and requested the Bar Council of India for introducing five years Law Degree Course. The Government of M.P. accepted the request of the Council for allowing the entry of the Advocates in Secretariat of Bhopal on the basis of Identity Cards. Shri Rameshwar Neekhra was again elected as Chairman for the second term of the Council. Late Shri C.S.Chhazed was elected as Vice Chairman. The Council also made serious efforts for getting refund of Stamp Duty being paid by the Lawyers to State Government at the time of their enrolment. Council constructed two more chambers in the State Bar Council building. The Government of Madhya Pradesh was requested through an important resolution of the Council to include a nominee of the Council in Public Service Commission Interview Board, meant for the selection of Judges. A new Welfare Scheme for the Advocates proposed by Shri L.S.Baghel, Member, was deeply considered by the Council and after certain amendments the scheme was referred to the Trustee Committee under the Adhivakta Kalyan Nidhi Adhiniyam 1982. The Scheme was approved in the year 1989. Simultaneously the Council discontinued Group Insurance Scheme of L.I.C and took the Group Insurance Scheme, in its own hand. Under this new scheme a member lawyers was initially insured minimum for Rs.15,000/- and with the seniority in the scheme, provisions of payment maximum upto Rs. 40,000/- was made under the scheme payable to the member advocate during his life time itself or their dependents. The Scheme was also having provision of ex-gratia payment of Rs.10,000/- for its senior members completing forty five years of practice, seventy five years of age and five years of membership under the scheme. The Council also resolved to print its Enrolment Form in Hindi language.
The Bar Council also requested the Central Government and the State Government to establish benches of SAT and CAT at Gwalior and Indore. The Council continued to make efforts for refund of Stamp Duty. The Council also took necessary steps for construction of State Bar Council building at Indore. Representatives of the Bar Council participated in various National Law Seminars organized by different Bar Councils of the country, as well as in Silver Jubilee Function of Bar Council of India. In the year 1989 the Council also arranged for its new elections.
In the year 1990 again fresh elections were held. In its first meeting held on 14th April 1990 the new Bar Council again elected Shri Rameshwar Neekhra as its Chairman. It was 3rd consecutive victory of Shri Rameshwar Neekhra. Shri C.L.Kotecha was elected as Vice Chairman and Shri K.L.Issrani was elected as Treasurer.Shri L.P.Bhargava was elected as Representative Member of Bar Council of India from the State of Madhya Pradesh.
In this term the Council made herculean efforts to mobilize and inspire Advocates to join the Adhivakta Kalyan Yojana 1989. The Council opposed the idea of appointing Government Advocates on the basis of their political commitment. The Council also requested to Central Government to include nominee of the Council in Judicial Commission for every State proposed to be constituted. In order to make the payment of Death Claim to the family of the deceased Advocate expeditiously, Council started making the payment from the sale proceed of Adhivakta Kalyan Nidhi Stamps from its Jabalpur head quarter itself. On 20th June 1991 the Council elected Shri Jai Singh as its Vice Chairman on account resignation tendered by Shri C.L.Kotecha the then Vice Chairman. The Council started making efforts in getting Section 19 (i) (ii) amended so that higher Welfare amount could be paid to the lawyers. The Council also made efforts for getting schedule of fees of Advocates revised suitably. On 22th November 1992 the Council elected Shri Rameshwar Neekhra for the 4th consecutive term as its Chairman and Shri Arun Mishra was elected as Vice Chairman. Government of Madhya Pradesh was also requested for constructing Chambers for lawyers at every district and Tehsil headquarters and for providing sufficient accommodation to the Bar Associations in the Court premises. Council also made efforts in getting the building of State Bar Council constructed at Gwalior.
Bar Council of India elected Late Shri L.P.Bhargava, as its Chairman. It was a great achievement for Bar Council of M.P. because of the fact that for the first time his Member had graced the Office of Chairman, Bar Council of India. Shri L.P.Bhargava as Chairman Bar Council of India contributed greatly.
On 11th Sept 1994 the Council felicitated Shri M.N.Venkatchalliya the then Chief Justice of India at Bhopal. In this felicitation function the Hon'ble Shri Digvijay Singh the then Chief Minister of Government of Madhya Pradesh accepted the request of the Council for refunding the amount of enrollments Stamp Duty. Due to this the Welfare Fund of the Council received nearly seventy lacs rupees in the funds and also for the future it started getting nearly five to seven lacs per annum.
In February 1995, the Council inaugurated its building at Indore and also felicitated Hon'ble Shri Justice A.M.Ahmadi on gracing the Office of Chief Justice of India. In August 1995 the Council organized a function at Gwalior and foundation stone of the proposed building of State Bar Council at Gwalior was laid down by the then Chief Justice of India Shri A.M.Ahmadi and other legal luminaries of the country. Shri A.K.Mishra the then Vice Chairman proposed new Welfare Scheme namely Adhivakta Kalya Yojana 1995 for the welfare of the Advocates of the State. The Council also suitably revised Adhivakta Kalyan Yojana 1995 and got it approved from Trustee Committee of Bhopal. Under this scheme an Advocate - Member was insured for Rs. 25,000/- minimum and maximum upto Rs. 5,00,000/- as per seniority of the membership. The Council arranged its next election in the year 1995.
After the elections Bar Council elected Shri L.S.Baghel as its Chairman and Shri S.K.Sinha as its Vice Chairman, Shri A.K.Mishra was elected as Member Bar Council of India. The Council felicitated Hon'ble Shri Justice J.S.Verma on his appointment as Chief Justice of India. The Council also resolved to construct its annex at Jabalpur the foundation stone was also laid down by the then Chief Justice of the High Court of M.P. Shri Justice A.K.Mathur.
The Council opposed the levy of Professional Tax of lawyers and gave valuable suggestions to Government of M.P for amending Commercial Tax Act.
On 25th June 1998 the Council elected Shri Rameshwar Neekhra, as its Chairman and Shri A.K.Gohil as its Vice Chairman for the rest half term of the Council, Shri S.L.Kochar, was elected as Treasurer of the Council. In the year 1998 the Bar Council of India elected Shri A.K.Mishra as its Chairman. Shri Mishra graced the Office of Chairman, Bar Council of India as the youngest Chairman in the history of Bar Council of India. Shri Mishra as Chairman, Bar Council of India contributed greatly.
On 10th April 1999, the Council organized a two days National Law Seminar on " Justice in 21st Century " at Pachmarhi which was inaugurated by the then Chief Justice of India Shri Dr. A.S. Anand. This National Law Seminar was graced by Shri Justice R.C.Lahoti, Hon'ble Judge of Supreme Court as he then was and Shri Justice A.K.Mathur as he then was.
After elevation of Shri A.K.Gohil as Hon'ble Judge of High Court of M.P. Shri K.M.Jain, Member was elected as Vice Chairman of the Council. The Council inaugurated its newly constructed huge building at Gwalior which is having ninety four chambers.
After elevation of Shri A.K.Mishra as Hon'ble Judge of the High Court of M.P. the Council elected Shri Jai Singh as its new Member for Bar Council of India. After enactment of M.P. State Realization Act 2000 from 1st November, the Council efficaciously managed the affairs of State Bar Council of Chhattisgarh form its head quarters itself and also arranged for election of Chhattisgarh Bar Council as well as Bar Council of Madhya Pradesh separately. On 13-11-2002 the Bar Council of India constituted a Special Committee consisting of Shri Vivek Krishna Tankha, the then Advocate General as its Chairman and consisting of two other members Shri Rameshwar Neekhra and Shri Jai Singh. This Special Committee continued upto 14-02-2003. Special Committee managed the affairs of the Councils smoothly and held a very graceful function of distribution of Sanads which had taken place on 19th Jan 2003. Nearly eight hundred new entrants in legal profession were distributed Sanads by the worthy hands of Shri Bhawani Singh the then Chief Justice of High Court of M.P. and Hon'ble Shri Justice Rajeev Gupta, Administrative Judge of High Court of Madhya Pradesh.
OUR PRESENT BAR COUNCIL
After the election present Bar Council, elected Shri Rameshwar Neekhra as its Chairman and Shri Vinod Kumar Bhardwaj, Sr. Advocate as its Vice Chairman. Shri Zafar Ahmed Khan, Sr. Advocate has been elected as Member Bar Council of India for the State of Madhya Pradesh, of Bar Council of India at present Shri Radhe Lal Gupta has been elected as Treasurer.
On various important points Bar Council is putting its serious attention and efforts are being made by the Council to do more better for the welfare of the Advocates. The Council is constructing eighteen chambers for the lawyers at Jabalpur. Serious efforts are being made by the Council to get the Adhivakta Kalyan Adhiniyam 1982 suitably amended so that Welfare amount for the lawyers may be increased substantially. The Council has made endeavor to publish its news magazine " M.P.Bar Council Times ". As a matter of record, in this regime the Government of M.P. has appointed Shri R.N.Singh, as Advocate General who is also an elected Hon'ble Member of the Council. The Council at Indore has convened a Seminar of Representatives of Bar Associations of Indore region which was graced by veteran Senior Advocate Shri G.M.Chapekar who gave many valuable suggestions in respect of Welfare Scheme for the Advocates. The Council has also amended its Library Development Scheme, suitably. The Council has organized this Law Seminar as a part of its activity. The Council is also effortful for formation of Advocates Colony at every District and Tehsil level. The Council has resolved to put an end to the call of Bar Council of India for boycotting " Lok Adalats " programme. The Council has paid rich attention on the recommendations of Malimath Committee and has endorsed the views of Bar Council of India.