The bar association where nomination papers were scrutinised on Friday. Picture by Gautam Dey
A mid-term election of the Dhanbad Bar Association is set to go ahead on September 15 with the nomination papers of 105 candidates for 21 posts being scrutinised on Friday, even as a majority of lawyers feel the polls could have been avoided.
The candidates are in the running for the posts of president, general secretary, three vice-presidents (a senior vice-president, a vice-president with 10 years of legal experience and another with seven years of experience), treasurer, three joint secretaries and 12 governing council members.
The first stage of the electoral process completed with the filing of nomination from September 4 to 6, while the final list of candidates is likely to be released on Saturday.
The turn of events began in late July when Samrendra Kumar Srivastava, a respected figure in the legal fraternity in Dhanbad, quit from the post of president citing personal reasons. Several office-bearers of the bar association tried to persuade Srivastava to rethink but he refused to change his stand.
Two other senior office-bearers of the association — general secretary Hriday Narayan Pandey and treasurer H.N. Agarwalla — also resigned only days later.
According to insiders, a dispute between the president and the treasurer over some financial issue was the trigger for the resignations, with the latter said to be siding with the general secretary.
Jharkhand Bar Council initially decided to hold election for the three posts but the resignation of Madhusudan Chakraborty, a senior member of the association’s governing council, on August 2 forced the state body to announce polls for all 21 posts.
Controversy refused to die down as a lawyer, Shahdeo Mahto, filed a writ in Jharkhand High Court against the mid-term election. He claimed there was no need for mid-term polls, as only three persons had resigned, arguing that the existing council could have continued to function with the remaining members.
Rajkumar Sinha, a lawyer, said: “The chain of events could have been avoided. Instead of infighting, everyone should have worked for the welfare of lawyers, who are deprived of all facilities including seating space in the court.”
Of the 105 candidates, only four — Kansari Mandal, R.K. Lala, Radheshyam Goswami and Ramdev Dey — have filed nomination for the post of president.
Five candidates have filed nomination for senior vice-president, while eight are vying for the general secretary’s post. Seven candidates have filed nomination for the post of vice-president (10 years’ experience) while four have filed papers for the position of vice-president with seven years of experience.
The mid-term election is being conducted by the district association’s elders’ committee, headed by Ahmad Hussain Ansari, at the behest of the state bar council. The previous election of Dhanbad Bar Association was held on July 30-31, 2011. The committee was elected for a two-year term.