Bhopal: ‘Unverified’ 40000 advocates lose voting right

BHOPAL: Names of 40,000 eligible voters (advocates) have been struck off from voter list as their names have not been verified for State Bar Council polls. Reason- the District Bar Associations failed to forward a number of verification application forms which advocates had dispatched online.

Reportedly there are 97,000 members in the Bar Council, but names of only 56,000 advocates have been verified and only these will be entitled to use their voting rights in the state Bar council polls. The polling for the state council was scheduled on Monday (December 2), however, the Supreme Court has stayed the elections for two weeks.

For verification, the advocates were to apply online to respective District Bar Association which in turn was required to forward their forms to State Bar Council. In many districts, the bar association failed to forward the received forms to state council. The laxity of district bar associations has sparked resentment among the advocates. Advocate Rajiv Dhangar said he had mailed the application forms with all necessary documents on September 4, 2019 to district bar association, but till date, his name has not been verified.

“When I contacted the staff of Bar Association, I was told that my form has not been forwarded to Bar Council, Jabalpur. This shows that lethargic attitude of the staff as even after three months, my application form has been put on hold at Bar Association instead of sending to Bar Council. There are many advocates in Bhopal district court, whose names have not been verified,” said Dhangar.

State Bar Council chairman Shivendra Upadhyaya said names of only 56,000 voter out of total 97,000 across the state have been verified. “Verification is normal process and advocates have applied online for it. Delay in verification led to sharp fall in voters’ number for Bar Council Polls. However, currently the poll process has been stayed by Supreme Court but after the courts’ order picture will be cleared on polls, ” said Upadhyaya.

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