Lawyers have no right to boycott court for days: HC

CUTTACK: Orissa High Court has observed that lawyers have no right to boycott court proceedings for days together and any strike by them would be viewed as “bad in law”.This observation came from a bench comprising Chief Justice A K Ganguly and Justice B N Mohapatra on Wednesday while disposing a PIL filed by B N Satpathy in connection with the prolonged strike by lawyers of various bars in the state demanding permanent circuit benches of the high court in Sambalpur and Berhampur.The PIL was disposed in view of the lawyers resuming their duties. “Since the lawyers have called off their strike, there is no need to adjudicate over the PIL any further,” the court said.The high court, however, took strong exceptions to the prolonged strike by lawyers of some bars and warned that repetition of such actions would be viewed as violation of the constitution bench ruling of the apex court that was passed in 2003 in captain Harish Paul vs Union of India.The constitution bench had observed that lawyers do not have the right to go on strike. They can either put black badges or go on a token strike to air their views. But before taking the extreme step, the lawyers should obtain prior permission from their presiding judges, the supreme court had said.Following a request made to the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to consider setting up circuit benches in Berhampur and Sambalpur, several bars in the state went on strike demanding benches of the HC at their respective places.The full bench of the HC however, turned down the Chief Minister’s proposal in November last year.

Friday May 16 2008 00:00 IST


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