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SC to Hear Plea for CBI Probe Into U.P. Bar Council Chief’s Murder, Safety of Lady Advocates

The plea, filed by advocate Indu Kaul, was listed before a vacation bench of justices Deepka Gupta and Surya Kant who agreed to hear it next Tuesday.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday agreed to hear a plea seeking CBI probe into the recent murder of Uttar Pradesh Bar Council president Darvesh Singh Yadav, who was shot dead in the Agra court premises.

The plea, filed by advocate Indu Kaul, was listed before a vacation bench of justices Deepka Gupta and Surya Kant who agreed to hear it next Tuesday saying that it was a “serious matter”.

Yadav, who was the first woman president of the Bar Council, was shot thrice by another lawyer Manish Sharma, who had been her long-time acquaintance.

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The petition, which seeks direction to the Bar Council of India for formulation of social security measures for lady advocates, listed out different incidents of sexual harassment against women lawyers in different court premises including Delhi High Court and trial courts.

The plea said safety of women lawyers in court premises and at chamber blocks should be “paramount” or else incidents like these could be “discouraging” for new female entrants in the legal profession.

“The chamber blocks in the court premises have no police person deployed. Male and female restrooms which have common wall are often found poorly lit which again makes it vulnerable for lady advocates when they use the facility,” it said.

The plea also sought a direction to the Delhi Bar Council for disbursing the sum of Rs 50 lakh received from AAP government towards social security measure and asked for a direction to the UP Bar Council to pay Yadav’s family a compensation of Rs 25 lakhs.

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It claimed that the the Bar Council of India instead of paying compensation to the deceased from its own Advocate Welfare Fund collected from lawyers across the country, is issuing a press release for collection of funds.

The plea said that Yadav’s murder by one of her male colleagues would withhold lady advocates from contesting elections of bar associations.

“Gender disparity cannot be overlooked in the legal profession where any successful lady advocated is attributed motives for her success which can be as hurting as her character assassination. Safety and security ought to be made the first priority. Lady advocates will withhold themselves from contesting elections of bar associations and bar councils as her male colleagues envy her success from the very first day,” the petition said.

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