Seven judge bench suo moto issued notices to Bar Associations for striking without authority of law

Allahabad High Court: Taking suo moto cognizance of the recent events resulting in the obstruction and derailment of work both in the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad and in the District Courts across the state, the seven judge bench headed by D.Y. Chandrachud, C.J.  sent notices to the Secretaries of the recognized Bar Association in all  the 75 districts of  Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) for going on strike without the authority of law. The Court discussed the Supreme Court decision in Ex-Capt. Harish Uppal v. Union of India (2003) 2 SCC 45 that lawyers have no right to go on strike or give a call for boycott, not even on a token strike except on rarest of rare cases where the dignity, integrity and independence of the Bar and or the Bench is in question. The Supreme Court further elaborate that no Bar Council or Bar Association can permit convening a meeting for the purpose of considering a call for strike or boycott. The Court finally contended with the help of aforesaid decision that there can be no doubt about the principle that a strike by the members of the Bar on the call of the office bearers of the Bar Associations is without the authority of law and is illegal. The Court further observed that officer convening the meeting would be personally liable along with others who interfere in the functioning of the Court.

In the instant case, while highlighting the need for better security in the premises of District Courts of U.P.  and in the High Court, like installation of CCTV cameras, scanners, biometric cards for the time bound court staff and prohibition of firearms in the courts premises, the Court issued certain guidelines such as

  • To prevent the entry of unauthorized persons to court premises in the garb of advocate and a roll of advocates in the District Courts should immediately be prepared;
  • Advocates, Advocate clerks and employees of courts must be given Biometric cards;
  • To empower District Judge to take appropriate action against any unauthorised person who enters the premises and likely to create nuisance in the court campus;
  • No person except security personnel deputed for safety of court premises/judicial officers should be allowed to carry any weapon or other dangerous instrument, which may cause serious harm to anyone present in the court;
  • Installation of appropriate number of CCTV cameras in the corridors of District Court under close monitoring by expert police officials.

The Court also directed the office bearers of the Allahabad High Court Bar Association and of the Advocates’ Association to inform the Court, on the next date of listing which is 7 April 2015 regarding the identity of those who were involved in the incident which disrupted the functioning of Court on 23 March 2015. In Re v. Zila Adhivakta Sangh Allahabad, 2015 SCC OnLine All 297, decided on 24.03.2015 

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