Calcutta HC Frames Rules As SC Ordered ‘No Ceasework For Lawyers’

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Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court administration has framed rules that consider strike by lawyers as interference to dispensation of justice in accordance with a Supreme Court order that said lawyers have no right to strike. A 69-day cease-work called by lawyers’ associations from February had severely affected the justice delivery system at the Calcutta High Court. The administration told a division bench of Chief Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya and Justice Arijit Banerjee that the rules will be placed before the full court for approval.

Petitioner A K Sarangi had moved a PIL seeking direction to the high court administration to comply with the apex court’s direction by framing appropriate rules under Section 34 of the Advocates Act, 1961 to make it clear that strikes by advocates will be considered interference with the administration of justice and for taking action against advocates who resort to cease work.

The counsel representing the high court administration submitted before the bench that “the rules have been framed and are waiting to be placed before the full court for approval.” A ‘full court’ is a session of a court which is attended by all its judges. Noting the development, the division bench had disposed of the PIL on May 15.Srikanta Dutta, counsel for the petitioner, said that in 2002 the Supreme Court had passed a direction to the high courts in the ex-captain Harish Uppal versus Union of India case with regard to strikes by lawyers.

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The apex court had directed the high courts to frame rules under Section 34 of the Advocates Act, 1961, to make clear that any strike by lawyers will be treated as interference to the administration of justice, he said today. In 2015, Sarangi had filed an RTI application to know whether such rules had been framed by the Calcutta High Court administration.

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