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Allahabad High Court Criticizes Lawyers' Strike, Emphasises Importance Of Court Functioning

The Allahabad High Court expressed concern over lawyers' strike, stating that strikes can't be a solution for issues

Law & Order
| Written By
Press Trust Of India
Strike cannot be a solution: Allahabad HC on lawyers' protest.

Strike cannot be a solution: Allahabad HC on lawyers' protest. | Image: PTI / representative

Expressing concern over a protest by lawyers in Uttar Pradesh, the Allahabad High Court on Thursday said strikes cannot be a solution and added the institution of justice and courts of law cannot be equated with industrial establishments where the concept of trade unions is utilised to justify strikes by industrial labourers.

Justice Kshitij Shailendra passed these observations when no one appeared in a case due to the ongoing strike by lawyers.

Lawyers on Thursday staged protests in several parts of Uttar Pradesh against the government's "inaction" in a recent incident of alleged police lathi-charge on advocates in Hapur as judicial work in the Allahabad High Court as well as in district courts remained affected due to their strike.

The lawyers have been on a strike since August 30 over the issue.

While the lawyers of the high court continued to abstain from judicial work on a call from the High Court Bar Association, advocates in the district courts are on strike on the call of the state bar council.

Speaking on the strike, Justice Shailendra said, "The solution could have been to let the courts function and make the officers and bureaucrats answerable compelling their appearance before the courts of law to justify their action of lathi-charge and not to shut down the courts giving liberty to the erring officials to roam freely and smiling with a confidence that there is none to call for an explanation or to take action against them or take remedial measures." Pointing out the ill-effects of continued strike, which entered the 15th day on Thursday, the court further said, "If courts of law remain closed for long periods, the people may take recourse to other means for redressal of their grievances, including those which may have no sanction of law, like approaching the criminals to settle their disputes, or either turning themselves into criminals and adopting all other polluted means like bribing the dishonest bureaucrats for getting the work done." "If this situation persists for a considerable period of time, the resultant effect on the society as well as individuals and the nation as a whole would be unassessable. In that eventuality, we would certainly shatter the faith reposed by us in ourselves while giving us the Constitution and its soul and that would be the most unfortunate day for all of us," the high court observed.

Lamenting the practice adopted by trade unions in judicial forums, the court further observed, “The institution of justice and courts of law cannot be equated with industrial establishments where the concept of trade unions is utilized to justify strikes by industrial labourers owing to their demand from employers." Neither the state bar council nor a bar association can be treated like a trade union bargaining for their demands. They are well-equipped with all legal means to find solutions to any problem.

"Lawyers' strike waste not only judicial time but also cause immense loss and harm to all the social values and leads to rising pendency of cases, adversely affecting the system of justice delivery, bringing more and more hardships to the litigant(s) for whom the courts are meant," it observed.

While adjourning the case till October 30, the court said, “With a very heavy heart, the court adjourns this matter in the interest of justice with the hope and trust that the lawyers would understand not only the plight, woes, cry and grievance of the society at large, but also their own well-being and also the overall ill-effects of strike and would soon turn up to argue the case." 

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