About us

– Ahmed Abdi*

Bombay Lawyers Association (BLA) is established by a group of advocates practicing at Bombay High Court in April 2012 which was later registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. Initially the application for registration was rejected by the Registrar, however when it was challenged by way of write petition before Bombay High Court the petition was allowed and the Registrar was directed to register the BLA within eight weeks for the date of the order. The said decision has been reported in 2013(1) Bom.C.R. 11. The primary purpose of the BLA is to undertake activities facilitating improvement in the quality of legal services. It also aims to strive for judicial reforms bringing efficiency and transparency in the functioning of courts by involving people outside the confines of the legal profession. It needs to be kept in mind that litigants and other lay persons are active stakeholders in the legal process. Some of the main objectives of the BLA read as under: • To uphold rule of law, promote higher values in legal profession and to preserve and protect independence of judiciary. • o strive for improvement in the institution of judiciary i.e. bar as well as the bench, for attainment of justice economic, political and social through constitutional means. After its formation, the BLA organized a seminar on “RTI Act in Practice and Supreme Court Judgment: Problems and Prospects” on October 17, 2012. Justice A.P. Shah, former Chief Justice Delhi High Court, Mr. Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner, Mr. Rajiv Patil, Sr. Advocate and President AAWI, Mr. Prosper D’Souza, Professor of Law, Ms. Swati Deshpande, Editor (Law), Times of India, spoke on the occasion. The subject of deliberation in the seminar was the judgment delivered by the Supreme Court in in the case of Namit Sharma V/s Union of India. This judgment made it mandatory that Appellate Benches of Information Commissions should be composed of two members out of which one member (s) should have a judicial background preferably a sitting or retired judge of a High Court. However, on account of the public outcry the government of India filed a review petition before the Supreme Court and the Hon’ble Court in its wisdom reversed the judgment. For the first time the BLA organized a function to celebrate “National Law Day” on November 26, 2012, at Mumbai which turned out to be grand success. On this historic day in the year 1949 our Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly. Thirty years after, under the leadership of Dr. L.M. Singhvi, the Supreme Court Bar Association declared November 26th as the National Law Day. It was the good fortune of the BLA that Shri K. Sankaranayanan, Governor of Maharashtra consented to be the Chief Guest of the function. During his address the Governor highlighted the need for empowerment of the public by dissemination of knowledge of law and availability of legal services at affordable cost. The Chief Justice of Bombay High Court Shri Mohit S. Shah presided over the function. In his address the Chief Justice highlighted the importance of Yule of law1 citing the trial trail of Ajmal Kasab. Judges, lawyers, academicians, civil and military officers, captains of industry and media and prominent citizens participated in the event. The keynote address on the importance of National Law Day was delivered by Justice Dr. S. Radhakrishnan (Retd.), Chairman, Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal. Keeping in view of our objectives, the BLA has continued its activities by way of organizing seminars, symposiums, debates, conferences, workshops and other like events for the benefit of the legal fraternity. In August, 2013 the BLA started a “Study Circle” at the Government Law College (GLC), Mumbai, in furtherance of its our activities with the objective of continuously upgrading skills of advocates particularly young advocates considering the ever increasing number of new laws, various amendments in the existing laws and judgments of High Court and the Apex Court with emphasis on practical aspects. The first study circle was held on August 2, 2013 on “Bail- Law, Practice and Procedure”. Mr. Justice Hon’ble Mr. Justice A. M. Thipsay, Judge, Bombay High Court, was the Chief Guest and Mr. Shrikant Bhat, Advocate, shared his rich experience with the participants. On September 6, 2013, the second study circle was held on “Writ- Law, Practice and Procedure”. Mr. Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, Advocate High Court enlightened the participants on this occasion. The third study circle was held on September 27,2013 on “Oral and Documentary Evidence – Law, Practice and Procedure”. Judge R.B. Malik, Principal, Government Law College graced the occasion being the main speaker. Sturdy circle is the brain child of Mr. Jabbar Shaikh, Advocate, and is its chief coordinator. He is assisted by Mr. Sandeep Jalan, Advocate. The BLA also organized a seminar on “Use and misuse of power to arrest by the police : Threat to personal liberty” on August 23, 2013. Senior Advocates, Mr. Ram Jethmalani, Mr. Shrikant Bhat, Mr. Amit Desai and Mr. Ashok Mundargi, spoke on the subject. Hon’ble Mr. Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari, Judge Bombay High Court presided over the function. The seminar became a source of empowerment by the lawyer community at large. The BLA is fortunate that it has received support from advocates and persons outside the legal system far in excess of what its founding fathers had envisaged. Given this kind of support the BLA hopes to undertake new ventures to further its objective of providing assistance to advocates so that we can contribute more effectively to society.

*Author is President of Bombay Lawyers Association.
Founder Members
Members Of The Organising Committe