Lawyers strike illegal: High Court

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh High Court today termed the strike illegal by the Shimla district bar association and reprimanded the lawyers for taking to streets over the issue of shifting of district court complex to Chakkar in Shimla.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice VK Ahuja hearing a petition of district bar association to provide suitable land for constructing new judicial complex observed that, ‘The court was anguished by shifting of the stand by members of the district bar association, holding of dharna and abstaining from attending courts and calling for ‘Shimla Bandh’ on December 10 when the matter is sub-judice, and specially since the previous orders of the High Court regarding construction of judicial complex at Chakkar was not challenged by the bar association’.

The High Court wondered if there was any legal or moral justification in taking the matter to streets after three years without challenging it in the court as the lawyers were not laymen, unaware of legal procedure quoting several orders of the Supreme Court in this regard.

The High Court also impleaded State Bar Council as the 7th respondent in the case and directed it to file an affidavit as to what action has been taken by the Council in this matter under of Bar Council of India Rules.

The Court also directed the SP Shimla to file an affidavit as to whether any case has been registered in respect of the alleged disorderly conduct pertaining to the alleged call made by the bar association for Shimla bandh on December 10, 2010.

The petition was filed in the year 2007 by the district bar association, Shimla praying either to shift the non-judicial officers from the present complex or to provide a new judicial complex. The government had provided land at Chakkar and construction of new judicial complex was started. 21 court rooms along with many facilities for the judicial officers, lawyers, litigants and general public have been provided in the new complex.

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