Madhya Pradesh Lawyers’ Strike Called Off For Now, Bar Chairman To Meet CJI DY Chandrachud Tomorrow
The lawyers' strike in Madhya Pradesh has been called off for now as the Chairman of the Madhya Pradesh State Bar Council is slated to meet CJI DY Chandrachud tomorrow.
The Chairman of Madhya Pradesh State Bar Council Prem Singh Bhadouria has asked the lawyers to resume their work and have called off the strike currently as he is slated to meet the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud tomorrow.Bhadouria released a press release informing of the same. The state bar council had called for a two day strike on Monday. The meeting with the CJI is slated to take place on 29 March at 4 PM.
The Gwalior bench of the Madhya High Court initiated contempt proceedings against the State Bar council and all of its elected members in relation to the ongoing lawyer’s strike in the state. The lawyers have continuously abstained from appearing in the court. The High Court has asked the elected members of the state bar as to why it should not prosecute them for having compelled the lawyers for the strike.
The Madhya Pradesh high court had initiated suo motu proceedings against the lawyers strike as a result of a communication made by the State bar council of Madhya Pradesh which asked the entire legal community in the state of MP to abstain from court work from March 23,2023.This is in relation to the scheme to withdraw 25 identified cases in every quarter which the lawyers are demanding to be withdrawn.
The high court bench comprising Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice Vishal Mishra had earlier passed the following directions:
i) All the advocates throughout the State of Madhya Pradesh are hereby directed to attend to their court work forthwith. They shall represent their clients in the respective cases before the respective courts forthwith;
(ii) If any lawyer deliberately avoids to attend the court, it shall be presumed that there is disobedience of this order and he will be faced with serious consequences including initiation of proceedings for contempt of court under the Contempt of Courts Act;
(iii) If any lawyer prevents any other lawyer from attending the court work, the same would be considered as disobedience of these directions and he will be faced with serious consequences including initiation of proceedings under the Contempt of Courts Act;
(iv) Each of the judicial officers are directed to submit a report as to which lawyer has deliberately abstained from attending the court;
(v) The judicial officers shall also mention the names of advocates who have prevented other advocates from entering the court premises or from conducting their cases in the court;
(vi) Such advocates shall be dealt with seriously which may even include proceedings under the Contempt of Courts Act as well as being debarred from practice.
The court observed that the apex court has time and again held that a call to abstain from work is illegal and the lawyers cannot go on a strike. The court noted that even if it is a rarest of rare case, then the guidelines postulated in para 35 of the decision in Ex. Capt. Harish Uppal case have to be followed.
The court observed that it is the duty of the lawyer to fight for the legal rights of his clients and to ensure the rule of law and the rule of law is one of the basic tenets of the legal profession. The court noted that under these circumstances, we are of the considered view that the litigants are the ones who suffer and their cause in the court is not being considered in view of the absence of the counsels. It was further said that the litigants have suffered because of this.
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