Lawyers’ strike to back Anna hits litigants (Lead)

August 17th, 2011 - 9:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) Litigants suffered and work in Delhi courts was hit Wednesday as lawyers in all the six district court complexes struck work to protest the arrest of anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare.

Hundreds of lawyers staged a sit-in at the Tis Hazari district courts and later marched to Kashmere Gate, about a kilometre away, and returned to the court complex, shouting slogans in support of Hazare.

Hazare was arrested Tuesday and sent to Tihar Jail as Delhi Police moved to stop his fast-unto-death to press for a strong anti-corruption Lokpal bill.

The protest started with a sit-in at Tis Hazari where lawyers sang devotional songs.

The march to Kashmere Gate and back took place over a period of two hours, said Delhi Bar Association president Rajiv Khosla.

The agitation left litigants fuming. Seema Gupta, who is fighting a divorce case at Tis Hazari, had to suffer due to strike as her case which came up for hearing Wednesday after two months.

“It took me two hours from Noida to come here. I did not read the paper this morning, as I had to leave early for my case was listed at 10 a.m. Now the next hearing is after a month. It is disheartening,” she said.

Advocates did not appeared in courts, forcing many judges to adjourn cases.

Apart from voicing support for Hazare, the lawyers also protested against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s stand that the judiciary should not come under the Lokpal.

Khosla said: “It is strange that despite rampant corruption, the government is supporting the exclusion of the judiciary from the purview of the Lokpal.”

“We got a great response from everybody. All the lawyers have supported us. We marched till Kashmere Gate and expressed our concern for Hazare, who is fighting for the nation,” Khosla said.

The hearing in the 2G case at the Patiala House court complex was also affected. Soon after the proceedings started, a group of lawyers entered the court and requested the judge to adjourn the case.

The decision to go on strike at the court complexes at Patiala House, Tis Hazari, Karkardooma, Rohini, Saket and Dwarka was taken Tuesday at a meeting of the co-ordination committee of all bar associations of New Delhi.

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