About SCBA E-Committee
From its very inception, the Supreme Court Bar Association has been in the vanguard of the movement for upholding, maintaining and consolidation of the constitutional values of democracy, rule of law and independence of Judiciary. In its meeting dated 4th May, 1951, the Executive Committee of the Bar Association consisting of legal luminaries like M. C. Setalvad, C. K. Daphtary and K. M. Munshi spoke of their deep concern against the first amendment of the Constitution. The Committee in its resolution observed that no attempt should be made to abridge or limit the Fundamental Rights. The Committee further pointed out that the Constitution was in operation only for a short period of sixteen months and the Supreme Court had no occasion to pronounce on the validity of various State laws.
The Executive Committee also condemned the proposed move to combine the office of Law Minister and Attorney General as a threat to independence of Judiciary. During the first decade itself, the Bar Association showed its humane concern for poor litigants and decided to have its own Legal Aid Scheme. It came forward to raise its voice against the contempt notice issued by Patna High Court against the defence lawyer who had written an article against the report of the Law Commission. The Supreme Court Bar Association has thus maintained its fraternal links with other Bar Associations in India. It also showed its concern for the indigent and infirm members of the Bar who needed financial support. During this first decade, the Supreme Court also showed interest in the legal research by becoming a corporate member of the Indian Law Institute.
A major landmark of the march of the Supreme Court Bar Association was in the tumultuous period between 1970 and 1980. During this period, the historic decision in Keshavananda Bharati case was pronounced by the Supreme Court laying down the implied limitations on the constitutional power of the Parliament to amend the basic structure of the Constitution. Three eminent judges of the Supreme Court, Hegde, Shelat and Grover JJ were superseded and Justice A. N. Ray was appointed as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on 25th April, 1973. The political powers at that time were enraged at the various decisions of the Supreme Court including Keshavananda Bharati and attempted to encage and emasculate the Judiciary. The ostensible reason put forth by the Government was to have the judges who are "forward looking" and understood "the winds of change".
The Supreme Court Bar Association, the other Bar Associations in the country and the public opinion rose with one voice against this onslaught on the Judiciary. Justice Hidyatullah J represented an emotional concern of the Bar in one word. Hidyatullah J said that this was an attempt of not creating 'forward looking judges' but the 'judges looking forward' to the plumes of the office of Chief Justice. Shri C. K. Daphtary described 25th April, 1973, as the blackest day in the history of democracy.
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