TN Bar Council faces power tussle

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Chennai, May 29: The Bar Council of Tamil Nadu, the statutory body governing the interests of more than 65,000 lawyers in the State and Puducherry, is facing a power tussle between the present Chairman and a member.

A ''power-sharing arrangement'', formalised among some of its members at the time of election for the Chairman's post in 2005, was threatening to snowball into a major confrontation between two groups.

While one group claimed that the present Chairman K Chandramohan was elected following an 'agreement' that he would hold the post for the first half of the term and another member D Selvam would succeed him in the next half, the Chairman had denied formalising any such 'agreement'.

While the pro-agreement group claimed that Mr Chandramohan must demit office on May 30, the Chairman said ''when I have not entered into any agreement, the question of my resignation does not arise.

In a democratic set-up, I can't pass on the mantle to someone of my choice.'' Talking to UNI here, Mr Selvam said he had evidence to prove the existence of such an agreement. ''I still hope that Chandramohan will demit office gracefully,'' he added.

Such an arrangement became necessary in 2005 as both the groups wanted to avoid a rift among the members, he said.

However, two senior bar members, who were privy to the purported agreement, did not rule out the possibility of a brokered truce between the groups.

The agreement was nothing new to the Bar Council, Mr Selvam said, adding that under such an agreement Mr R Dhanapal Raj and Mr Mangalam Jawaharlal had shared the responsibility between 2000 and 2005.


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