Allahabad High Court

Allahabad High Court: In a public interest litigation, 7-Judge Bench of Pritinker Diwaker, C.J. Sunita Agarwal, Surya Prakash Kesarwani, Manoj Kumar Gupta, Anjani Kumar Mishra, Dr. Kaushal Jayendra Thaker, Mahesh Chandra Tripathi, JJ. while issuing notices, directed the lawyers to resume their work forthwith and to remove the contempt and warned that in case any hindrance is created by any of the lawyer or office bearers, then it would be viewed seriously

In the case at hand, the Kanpur Bar Association and the Lawyers' Association are on continuous strike. Initially they were only boycotting the Court of District & Sessions Judge, Kanpur, but later, they have been boycotting the entire Courts of Kanpur Judgeship since 25-03-2023, hampering the entire judicial work.

On administrative side, the Chief Justice and the Administrative Judges of Kanpur, held meetings separately as well as jointly with the President and the General Secretary of Kanpur Bar Association and tried to resolve the issue and in turn, the President and the General Secretary of the Kanpur Bar Association had given assurance to call off the strike and resume their work, but they have deviated from their assurance and are now threatening to spread the strike in the whole district of Kanpur Nagar in different mode.

The Advocate General submitted that strike cannot be supported in any manner and the lawyers are supposed to work in the Court. He has given assurance to this Court that all sorts of assistance would be provided to the lawyers and the Judges for dispensation of justice.

Placing reliance on Harish Uppal (Ex-Capt.) v. Union of India, (2003) 2 SCC 45, wherein it was held, that “the lawyers have no right to go on strike or give a call for boycott, not even on a token strike. The lawyers holding Vakalat of a client and abstaining from Court due to a strike would be personally responsible for costs, in addition to liability to damages towards his client for loss suffered by the client.”

Further, it also took note of Supreme Court Bar Assn. v. Union of India, (1998) 4 SCC 409 wherein it has been held that the professional misconduct may also amount to contempt of Courts, and on Krishnakant Tamrakar v. State of M.P., (2018) 17 SCC 27, wherein it was said that every strike, causes irreversible damage to the judicial system, particularly to the litigants.

The Bench said that in the present case, despite sincere efforts being made by the Court, the lawyers are adamant not to perform their work in the Court and their actions are creating hurdle in dispensation of justice, which is nothing but a sort of contempt of Courts. Thus, the Court while issuing notices, directed the lawyers to resume their work forthwith and to remove the contempt and warned that in case any hindrance is created by any of the lawyer or office bearers, then it would be viewed seriously.

Further, the Court directed the District Magistrate and the Commissioner of Police, Kanpur, to affix this order on the notice board of both the Bar Associations and other conspicuous places inside the Court premises.

[Zila Adhivakta Sangh Allahabad, In re, Public Interest Litigation (PIL) No. 15895 of 2015, decided on 06-04-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Counsel for Petitioner: Advocate Ajay Singh, Advocate Anshu Singh, Advocate Arun Kumar, Advocate Devesh Kumar Shukla, Advocate Dharmesh Kumar Shukla, Advocate Dinesh Kumar Misra, Advocate Hare Krishna Mishra, Advocate Mir Sayed, Advocate Nitin Gupta, Advocate Pradeep Kumar Tiwari, Advocate Pranshu Kumar;

Counsel for Respondent: Advocate A.K. Bajpai, Advocate Ajai Shankar Pathak, Advocate Anupam Kumar, Advocate Ashutosh Dwivedi, Advocate Ayub Khan, Advocate C.P.Upadhyay, Advocate Chandra Kumar Singh, Advocate D.K. Tiwari, Advocate Daya Shankar Mishra, Advocate Diwakar Rai Sharma, Advocate H.N.Singh, Advocate Hemendra Pratap Singh, Jyotish Awasthi (In Person), Advocate Mohd. Asif, Advocate Mohit Bihari Mathur, Advocate Mumtaz Ahmad Siddiqui, Advocate P.K. Jain, Advocate Pranesh Dutt Tripathi, Advocate R.D.Sahi, Advocate R.K.Singh, Advocate Rakesh Pandey, Advocate Ratnakar Upadhyay, Advocate Ritesh Srivastava, Advocate S.C. Mishra, Advocate Sanjay Mishra, Advocate Sanjay Singh, Advocate Sanjiv Kumar Pandey, Advocate Santosh Kumar Pandey, Advocate Santosh Kumar Tripathi, Advocate Shishupal Sharma, Advocate Siddharth Nandan, Advocate Sudhir Dixit, Advocate Suresh Chandra Pandey, Advocate Swetashwa Agrawal, Advocate Tahir Husain, Advocate V.C.Srivastava, Advocate Vineet Kumar Singh.

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