Lawyers’ strike at Tis Hazari affects litigants

May 16th, 2008 - 8:45 pm ICT by admin  


New Delhi, May 16 (IANS) It has not been easy for Harkishan Singh, 70, to come to the capital from Punjab in the scorching summer heat to fight his 10-year-old cheque bounce case, but he has been attending every hearing diligently. The lawyers’ strike Friday at the Tis Hazari courts turned his periodic visit futile. The lawyers’ strike meant no work in courts. Singh has now been asked to come again May 20.

The lawyers went on strike to protest the proposed creation of nine judicial districts in the capital city. The lawyers maintain formation of more district courts would benefit only judicial officers.

They petitioned the Supreme Court, which turned down their plea. The lawyers will resume work Saturday.

A tired Singh told IANS: “I had no option but to return to Punjab as my lawyer refused to appear due to the strike. This is unethical. Why should litigants suffer because of administration problems.”

Singh was not the only one to return without a hearing due to the strike. Romesh Sharma, the alleged frontman of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, also was left high and dry as his lawyer failed to appear in court.

Sharma has been asked to appear May 20 for the case in which he and his four associates have been charged with grabbing a Mumbai-based businessman’s chopper.

Delhi Bar Association (Tis Hazari courts) president Rajiv Khosla said: “The strike was successful but we have suspended it for the time being. We have called an executive meeting on Wednesday after which we will decide the future course of action.”

“The executive committee is aggrieved by the unconstitutional order of the apex court, which ultimately provides benefit only to the judicial officers at the cost of litigants and the general public,” said Jaiveer Singh Chauhan, secretary of the Delhi Bar Association.

He said the lawyers would approach the chief justice of India to refer the matter to the constitutional bench to decide whether the apex court by its order can create districts in a state on the request of judicial officers without prior approval and enactment of a law by the state legislature.

The Delhi High Court has already declared the strike illegal and said it would not tolerate any hardships to the litigant public.

“The state of affairs cannot be tolerated any longer. The lawyers must know that enough is enough and everything has a limit,” a bench said.

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