HC Lawyers Set Record Of Longest Strike In History

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Kolkata: Lawyers’ associations at the Calcutta High Court on Friday set a record of the longest strike in its history by extending their ceasework.

The strike, called by Bar Association of Calcutta High Court and supported by Bar Library and Incorporated Law Society, started on February 18 to press for immediate appointment of judges in the court.

A total of 10,000 advocates are on strike, paralysing the operations of the country’s oldest high court. There are more than 2.2 lakh pending cases at Calcutta high court.

The Bar Association took a resolution to extend the ceasework till April 25 on the ground that the authorities concerned have not appointed any new judge or a permanent chief justice to the high court despite the two-month long agitation.

The Bar Association has argued is that except Karnataka High Court, every high court in the country has more than 50-60% of the sanctioned strength of judges. Only Calcutta High Court is functioning with 45% strength, it has said.

Though there is a sanctioned strength of 72 judges at the Calcutta High Court, there are only 33 right now. Two of these 33 judges are deputed at Port Blair circuit bench, thus effectively reduces the number to 31.

This is the longest strike by lawyers at the court. The earlier record was a 45-day strike in 2004. It was part of a statewide stir against a sharp revision of stamp duty rates in which lawyers from all courts in West Bengal participated.

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