As per reports, on 16 February, B Shanker, an elected member of the Bar Council of Telangana, alleged that the council was mired in corruption, irregularities, and misuse of funds. Reportedly, he has accused the chairman and secretary of the Bar Council of Telangana for misappropriating money, deposited by advocates who had enrolled themselves in the council.
As per reports, Shanker has alleged that the chairman of the council, A Narsimha Reddy and secretary Renuka have illegally misappropriated funds of around Rs 2 – 3 crore and did not account for the money collected from the advocates. He presented before the High Court Bifurcation stating that the accounts were not being properly audited.
Speaking at a press conference, Shanker along with senior advocates A Srinivas, P Rajakumari and Rapolu Bhaskar said that “The details of the huge amounts collected through welfare tickets and gap fees are not available. They provided me with the accounts, but it doesn’t have the columns of income and expenditure. I suspect in each head there is misappropriation from 2006 when Narasimha Reddy was first elected as Chairman.”
As per Chapter V of the Bar Council Rules, a statutory body that regulates the legal practice and legal education in India, the money received shall be credited into the bank account by the next working day. He alleged that the council had collected Rs 2,500 each from 2,000 advocates who joined the council, which amounted to a total of Rs 2.25 crore. Apart from this, the council had collected Rs 1.3 crore for issuing certificates of practice to about 50,000 advocates. However, the collected amount was not disclosed in the annual balance sheet report, he alleged. The bank statement of the ‘Bar Council of Andhra Pradesh Certificate Verification Fees’ account which was provided by Shanker showed that Rs 87.34 lakh was deposited on 9 December 2019 with six cash deposit vouchers, violating the rules.
On being confronted, Reddy denied the allegations and stated that everything was done as per the constitution of the Bar Council. “I don’t even avail allowances for which I am entitled. One has to consider the fact that amongst all the 25 elected members, why is Shanker alone making such comments? It’s only to lower the prestige of the institution,” stated Reddy. He further added that Shanker is making false allegations as the council has investigated him over a complaint four years ago.
Meanwhile, Shanker has also alleged that though the library fees are being collected for a long time, there is no library for the Bar Council. He further added that favors were made to persons close to the chairman in recruitments and promotions. Citing an instance of favoritism, he said that S Renuka who joined as a typist in 1989 was promoted to Assistant Secretary in 1994, a joint secretary in 2000, and secretary in 2003, keeping aside many senior staff. Although she got retired, her services were extended and salaries were being paid, he alleged.
Shankar demanded the state government conduct an inquiry into the irregularities and take necessary action against those responsible.