Lawyers strike work in Delhi courts

March 24th, 2011 - 7:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Mar 24 (IANS) Work in the capital’s six district courts and the Delhi High Court was paralysed Thursday as lawyers went on a strike to protest the Finance Bill which proposes to levy 10 percent tax on the fee charged for legal services.

“There was a complete strike in all district courts. Advocates have not appeared in court cases listed for Thursday while the courts have adjourned matters to next dates,” Rajiv Khosla, Delhi Bar Association president, said.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) and President of Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) A.S. Chandhiok said, “We are observing strike seeking roll back of the proposal to levy service tax from us.”

The president of the DHCBA, who was manning one of the entrances of the high court, was seen ensuring that no lawyer appears in any court room.

The decision to go on strike at the courts in Patiala House, Tis Hazari, Karkardooma, Saket, Rohini, Dwarka and Delhi High Court was taken early this week at a meeting of the coordination committee of all bar associations of New Delhi.

The Rajasthan Bar Council had decided to observe a day-long strike on the issue.

The coordination panel claimed that the strike in the adjoining states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan was also complete.

“The coordination committee fails to understand why the government is interested in making lawyers busy in keeping the accounts of service tax rather than assisting the court to provide expeditious justice to the citizens by concentrating more in the legal profession,” said Khosla.

“Lawyers are not appearing in any of the courts and we will give our memorandum to the finance minister and the law minister,” said Khosla.

“The lawyers are highly aggrieved due to the proposal and appeal to the government to withdraw it immediately,” said Khosla.

Meanwhile, the litigants had a tough time as the courts were not functioning and no judicial business took place due to the strike.

“The union finance ministry’s proposal in the Legal Practitioners Bill 2010 for imposing service tax on lawyers cannot be accepted,” said Khosla.

Criticising the bill, Khosla said, “Instead of imposing the 10 percent service tax on lawyers, the centre should make efforts to stop corruption.”

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