The boycott of the bench of justice Rekha Mittal continued for second consecutive day, even as she sat in a division bench on Monday. Lawyers assembled outside the division bench court room where justice Mittal was to sit and boycotted the court proceedings.
Meanwhile, differences cropped up between the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association (PHHCBA) members and some other lawyers. The PHHCBA filed an application before acting chief justice SJ Vazifdar on Monday for recalling the order passed by the judge in question, while the boycott of the division bench where justice Rekha Mittal was sitting was continuing.
Under fire from the other lawyers, the Bar, later in the day, submitted before the acting chief justice that they wanted to withdraw the application that had been fixed for hearing on Monday.
During the hearing, as the Bar president, Anmol Rattan Sidhu told the acting chief justice that they wanted to withdraw the application, the acting chief justice emphasised harmonious relations between the Bar and the high court. He also stated that before going for a boycott, the lawyers' body should have met him and apprised him of the problem.
Later, on invitation from acting chief justice, the members of Bar and some from outside the executive also met him in an hour-long meeting on Monday afternoon.
"The acting chief justice has assured us of a workable solution of the stalemate. However, the boycott would continue till the time issue is not resolved," Bar president, Anmol Rattan Sidhu said.
Sidhu had a tough time in pacifying his colleagues who protested against the decision of moving the application of recall of order.
Senior advocate Anupam Gupta accused the PHHCBA president and the secretary of not taking other lawyers into confidence before going for the recall orders. "The president and the secretary filed the application for recall of order, which was inconsistent with the decision of general house of the PHHCBA. They should have taken the general house into confidence before such a step," Gupta added.
While hearing a matrimonial dispute case on February 18, justice Rekha Mittal directed the petitioner's lawyer MS Randhawa to explain why he gave a wrong advice to his client. He was also asked to refund the fee charged.
When the petition was dismissed, the lawyer was not present in the court. After a requisition of around 300 lawyers, the general house meeting of lawyers' body decided to boycott the proceedings of the bench of the judge in question.