Strikes by Advocates | To condole demise of any member or anyone else, can Members of Bar obstruct functioning of Courts? All HC decides

Allahabad High Court: J.J. Munir, J., expressed that,

The Members of the Bar are free to hold a meeting to condole the demise of any member or anyone else, but they do not have the right to obstruct the functioning of Courts.

On 17-12-2021, an order was passed requiring the personal presence of the President of Commissioner Court’s Bar Association, Ayodhya and that of the Secretary.

Atul Kumar Dwivedi, appeared on behalf of the President, Commissioner Court’s Bar Association and the Secretary of the said Bar Association. He had filed in Court two personal affidavits, one sworn by Anand Srivastava, President of the Commissioner’s Court Bar Association and the other by Mr Sunil Kumar Singh, Secretary of the said Association.

The affidavits which were filed tendered an unconditional apology for the strikes.

Going by the law laid down by the Supreme Court in District Bar Assn. v. Ishwar Shandilya, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 244, no kind of freedom or right entitles a Bar Association to give a call for any kind of strike or boycott of Courts.

Therefore, the qualified undertaking given by the President and the Secretary of the Bar Association that they will not pass resolutions abstaining from judicial work except in a grave situation is not accepted for the qualifications of it.

Hence, Court ordered that until further orders, the Commissioner’s Court Bar Association, Ayodhya, shall not pass any resolution, abstaining from judicial work, whether styled as a strike or a call to abstain from judicial work, a condolence resolution that has the effect of withdrawing Advocates from judicial work, by whatever name called.

Bench opined that the undertaking given on the basis of which the present order is passed, shall not only apply to the incumbent President and Secretary of the Commissioner’s Court Bar Association, Ayodhya but to all their successors-in-Office.

Court directed that the Additional Commissioner Faizabad (First), Ayodhya Division shall proceed with Appeal No.00911 of 2018, Computerized Case No.C-201804000000911 on a day to day basis and submit a status report also by the next date fixed.

The petition is to be listed on 28-1-2022 by which time, the Commissioner, Ayodhya Division Ayodhya, shall submit a report to this Court indicating whether any resolution obstructs the judicial work or withdrawing the Members of the Bar from their professional duties has been passed by the Bar Association. [Imtiyaj Ali v. Addl. Commissioner Faizabad-I, 2021 SCC OnLine All 956, decided on 23-12-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

Counsel for Petitioner: Mohammad Nauman

Counsel for Respondent: C.S.C.

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