A special bench of the MP high court on Sunday declined to pass an ex-parte order to restrain the Bar Council of India (BCI) from giving effect to its call asking lawyers to abstain from courts across the country on March 16, 2015.
The BCI on Thursday gave a call to the lawyers across the country to abstain from the courts as a mark of solidarity over killing of a lawyer Nabi Ahmad by a police official on the district court premises at Allahabad on March 11, 2015.
The high court action came on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Anand Trust through its trustee SP Anand, who demanded that the respondent BCI be restrained from implementing its call to the lawyers. A division bench of Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice KK Trivedi said, “We do not deem it appropriate to pass any ex-parte order of injunction in the matter.”
Anand in his plea said, “There were various judgments which suggested that the lawyers are duty bound to their litigants, hence they cannot boycott the courts.”
The petitioner also demanded, “Merely because the advocates are boycotting the courts, the courts cannot adjourn the cases.” Furthermore, the petitioner sought direction “to all the courts in the country not to adjourn cases when the advocates are on strike”.
The court said, “Without there being material to assess as to whether the case in hand falls in the exempted category as per principles laid down by the Supreme Court in the Ex-Captain Harish Uppal vs Union of India and another case of year 2003, an interim stay could not be granted.”
The HC served two weeks returnable notices on the BCI and the Madhya Pradesh High Court Bar Association (MPHBA), Jabalpur, during the hearing of the public interest litigation (PIL).
Anand filed the public interest litigation on Saturday before the high court’s registrar general and the chief justice allowed the hearing of the public interest litigation on Sunday as the lawyers will abstain from the courts on March 16, 2015.