‘It’s His Personal Opinion’: SCBA Executive Members Oppose President's Controversial Letter to CJI on Farmer Protest

Urging CJI Chandrachud to take suo moto cognisance, SCBA President Dr Adish C Aggarwala in his letter, which apparently has a political undertone, described the protesters “so-called” farmers and their agitation as “politically motivated”.
The heavy barricading by Delhi police to block protesting famers.
The heavy barricading by Delhi police to block protesting famers.

New Delhi: A day after the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) opposed the ongoing farmers’ protest, which — according to it — is causing unease to people in general and the lawyers’ fraternity in particular, and called upon Chief Justice DY Chandrachud to take suo-motu cognisance against the agitation, other executive members of the association have sounded their discontent against the controversial letter. 

They claimed the SCBA letter dated February 13 to the chief justice is “nothing, but a personal opinion” of its president — Dr Adish C Aggarwala. It was not unanimously decided by the members of the body, they alleged.

Dissociating themselves from the letter, SCBA’s executive and senior executive members noted with dismay that the letter was shot off “unilaterally without any consultation”. 

They said, “The letter written on SCBA’s letterhead gives an incorrect impression that it is written on behalf of the association. We do not agree with the contents of the letter and disassociate ourselves with it.”

“The president cannot write a letter on the association's behalf on such sensitive matters without a meeting of the executive body,” SCBA Joint Secretary Meenesh Kumar Dubey told The Mooknayak.

He said the association is an independent and non-political body that cannot hold professional opinions on such matters.

“We are neither supporting, nor opposing the agitation,” he clarified.

Asked if any disciplinary action can be taken against the SCBA president for “unilaterally” writing the letter, association’s secretary Rohit Pandey said no decision has not been made yet.

“An executive meeting will be called, the date of which has also not been decided, and the matter will be taken up there,” he said.

Dr Aggarwala could not be reached for comments.

The letter written to the CJI Chandrachud reads, “By not accepting the offer of the government, the so-called leaders of the farmers have decided to move to Delhi to create problems for the people.”

“I am compelled to write this letter to bring to your kind notice that in spite of the best efforts of the Government of India to protect the interest of the farmers, some farmers are en route to Delhi from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab and are gearing up for a large-scale protest in the national capital on February 13,” the letter further reads.

Earlier, in 2021 and 2022, it says, three Delhi borders with neighbouring states remained blocked for several months due to a similar protest — causing hardship to the general public.

“It is suspected that the protest is politically motivated ahead of the forthcoming Parliamentary election,” it states, adding that “even if the farmers have genuine demands, they don’t have the right to put the general public into hardship”. 

“This is the right time when the Hon'ble Supreme Court should act suo motu and ensure that these farmers don’t create any nuisance and cause huge inconvenience to the general public,” Aggarwala urges in the letter.

Their right to protest, according to him, should not be allowed to impede the common citizens’ right to lead their lives without any problem.

He says by not accepting the offer of the Government of India, the “so-called” leaders of the farmers decided to move to Delhi “only to create problems” for the people of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. 

“If they are still adamant about protesting, they should protest in their native places,” he says in the letter.

The heavy barricading by Delhi police to block protesting famers.
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The heavy barricading by Delhi police to block protesting famers.
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