Bar Council of India has issued a notification on 14th January 2022 regarding election of Chairman and Vice Chairman.
The notification reads as under:
The election of Chairman and Vice Chairman shall be held at a meeting of the Council at a time and place to be fixed either by the Chairman or by the Council. However, under extra ordinary situation like pandemic, including situations which necessitates social and physical distancing, etc. or where either Central Government or the concerned State Government (where meeting is to be held) orders for Lockdowns/ restricts movement and which has constrained the nation to go virtual in many respects, in order to keep up the functioning, and working of the institution, the Council or its Chairman may decide upon the appropriate, feasible and practical mode and process of elections, wherein during the course of the meeting, the decision whether to conduct elections of office bearers virtually and/or whether to hold elections by hybrid mode i.e. virtually as well as physically or only virtually may be taken.
Proviso to be added to Rule-12(1)(c)
Provided that under the circumstances mentioned under Sub-Rule-1(a) of Rule-12, the Presiding Officer for virtual/hybrid election meeting shall be a former Chief Justice or a former Judge of any High Court. In a virtual/hybrid mode of election meeting, the process of virtual voting shall begin only after completion of voting by all the voters present physically (if any) cast their votes. The council or the Chairman may appoint more than one Presiding Officer/ Conducting Officer to conduct Hybrid/virtual election-meeting. However, in any case, the Presiding Officer/ Conducting Officer shall only be either a former Chief Justice or former Judge of any High Court. However, the election conducted by only one Presiding Officer/ Conducting Officer shall be valid election.
The Presiding Officer for virtual/ hybrid election meeting shall be the sole authority to decide the norms for voting process (to maintain full secrecy about the voting among the members) and his decision on all the issues relating to casting votes as per the decided process shall be final.
The Presiding Officer for virtual/ hybrid election meeting shall be expected to ensure that the votes cast by a voter physically or virtually, should not be known to the other voter. He shall keep the recordings safe with him only.
Note : The results of the election would not be affected, if more than 51 percent of Members (voters) have been able to attend/ join the election meeting (either physically or virtually). For physical elections, there shall be no change in the rule regarding the appointment of Presiding Officer for the Meeting.
Amendment in Rule-12(2)
The Chairman or the Vice-Chairman shall hold office for a period of three years, or until his term of office as Member of the Bar Council of India ceases whichever is earlier.