Uttar Pradesh Bar Council chief shot dead: First woman chief pushed for libraries, lawyer stipend

UTTAR PRADESH : Convincing advocates across Uttar Pradesh to elect a woman to the UP Bar Council is no ordinary task. It has never been done before.
But Darvesh Singh Yadav made history on June 9 following a two-month campaign, promising a free stipend to newly inducted advocates, a Bar hall in Agra and libraries across all bar council facilities in UP. At her side, was her close confidant, Manish Babu Sharma, who was also her senior from Agra College where they completed their LLM.

Yadav’s colleagues say that she was a workaholic, who had previously become the vice-chairperson for a 5-year term. Two days ago, after being re-elected as a member of the Bar Council defeating at least ten women candidates, she also got the majority of the votes from the 25-member council.

Her colleagues say that Yadav had actively fought to set up libraries across Bar Council facilities in UP, providing compensation to families of advocates who died in accidents or medical expenses for sick advocates and actively campaigned to establish chambers for junior advocates.

Advocate Dharmender Verma fights back tears when he talks about Yadav. “We were sitting in the chamber talking about how she made history. She used to attend funerals of dead advocates and meet their families. Yadav was rooted to the ground,” he said. Originally from Etah, Yadav was transferred to Agra around a decade ago where she met Sharma.

After the death of both her parents, she looked after her younger sister and brother. Her sister, Kanchan was given a job in the UP police after her mother, who was a sub-inspector, died. She completed her training in Moradabad around three days ago and met her sister on Wednesday to congratulate her.

“Yadav worked with the former chairperson of the UP Bar Council, Praveen Kumar. She first made history after getting elected as a member of the bar council five years ago and went onto become the Vice-chairman before she contested this year’s election,” said Advocate Vibhor Sharma.

But what has stunned the lawyer community is that her close confidant killed her. Sharma, a civil lawyer at Agra district court, has a wife and two children aged 6 and 3. He practices civil law and was working on some property and family-related disputes.

His colleagues said that though Yadav was popular among the young advocates, she ran into rough waters convincing her seniors to elect her to the Bar Council, and that is where Sharma came into play, campaigning with Yadav across UP and convincing advocates to vote for a woman.

“He was a gentleman. The kind of person who would offer his chair when his senior would enter a chamber. He fought for her all this while and then killed her,” said Advocate Amir Ahmad, former secretary of the UP Bar Council.