In a move widely being interpreted as “pressure tactics”, the district bar association (DBA) Chandigarh, on Thursday, resolved to go on two-day strike starting Friday alleging that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was working with “vengeance and ulterior motive in contravention of rules” in investigating the money-laundering case against advocate Mukesh Mittal and his associates.
In a meeting of the general house of the DBA held on Thursday, Mukesh Mittal imputed motives behind ED’s move and attacked a Punjab and Haryana High Court judge for making “certain remarks” during the hearing of a case related to the ED probe.
The case, in which the ED has to file a report on the status of this case, comes up for hearing on January 19 before this high court judge.
The DBA resolution quotes Mukesh Mittal as alleging that a former judicial officer of Haryana who had been recently removed and is a brother of a Delhi high court judge is behind the ED probe.
Mittal also alleged that the ED team did not conduct themselves properly during a recent raid at the house of advocate Mukesh Mittal and his associates. He alleged that “one Mr Ajay Singh” was forced and pressured to sign a false typed statement and compelled him to sign statements against him (Mittal).
Incidentally, the resolution does not make it clear that Ajay Singh has been Mittal’s munshi for 20 years. Mittal also claimed that the ED was fabricating evidence against him.
Seeking a “fair, free enquiry” the bar president called upon its members to observe a strike on January 16 and January 17.
“There will be two proxy counsels in each court who would appear before the court,” said DBA president advocate Ashok Chauhan. To ensure that none of the bar member appear before the court, the bar association has decided that any advocate who appeared in court would be fined Rs 5,000.
Almost 300 of the 2,500 lawyers in courts participated in the meeting.