Bihar lawyers strike work for second day

April 1st, 2008 - 2:19 pm ICT by admin  

Patna, April 1 (IANS) Thousands of lawyers in Bihar struck work for a second consecutive day Tuesday to protest against the steep hike in court fees. The three-day strike began Monday, affecting the functioning of courts across the state.

Lawyers from Patna High Court, district courts and sub-divisional courts stayed away. Hundreds of lawyers staged a demonstration here.

Most of the 122 lawyers’ associations in the state affiliated to the Bihar Bar Council have given their consent to the strike.

Bihar Industry Minister Gautam Singh, however, has ruled out the withdrawal of the fee.

He said: “The state spends more than Rs.191 crores (Rs.1.9 billion) on the judiciary each year, and the hike in fees would bring in only about Rs.20 crores (Rs.200 million). We don’t think the rates are so high that they warrant a strike from the legal community.”

Lawyers of lower courts at Danapur, Patna city, Kishanganj, Purnia, Barh and Masaurhi have gone on an indefinite strike.

The striking lawyers said that the hike in court fees would affect the common man, particularly the poor.

According to the new fee structure, the charge for filing a public interest petition (PIL) in the high court would go up to Rs.1,000. Earlier it depended on the nature of the case.

The rate for procuring copies of judgements and other proceedings in the court has also been raised from Re.1 to Rs.10 per page.

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