Calcutta HC Crisis: Judge To Meet HC Lawyers Today

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Kolkata: The acting Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court has called an urgent meeting on Wednesday morning with office-bearers of three lawyers’ bodies which have been observing a cease-work for over a month to demand appointment of adequate judges.

The Calcutta High Court lawyers’ bodies decided to extend their long cease-work by another fortnight and insisted that they wanted the Centre to spell out a specific time frame on the appointment of judges.

The three bodies — Calcutta High Court Bar Association, Bar Library Club and the Incorporated Law Society felt that mere assurances by the Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad isn’t enough to call off the strike.

Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya had invited additional solicitor general Kaushik Chanda and advocate general Kishore Dutta also to attend the meeting at 11am. According to the sources, the meeting has been convened following a phone call that Justice Bhattacharya received from Chief Justice of India Deepak Mishra on Monday evening.

By extending the strike by another fortnight till April 2, this cease work at the high court is the longest since the two-month strike over stamp duty hike in 2002. The month long cease work may already have impacted nearly 10,000 cases.

The stalemate prompted some judges of the court to take an initiative to settle the problem by speaking to the agitating advocates, a high court source said.

According to high court officials, generally, 350 to 400 cases are filed in the court daily. “But only 705 new cases were filed in the high court between February 19 and Tuesday because of the strike,” said the source.

The court had just 27 judges against the sanctioned strength of 72 posts when the strike began. However, two judges were sworn in later.

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