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Monday, Aug 19, 2019

Haryana tribunal row: High court summons Chandigarh adviser, DGP and home secretary

The lawyers had been laying siege to the main gate of the Punjab and Haryana high court and locked other entry points in protest against Haryana’s decision to set up an administrative tribunal.

chandigarh Updated: Aug 14, 2019 11:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Work was suspended by Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association on July 25, a day after the Centre came out with the notification of the tribunal.
Work was suspended by Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association on July 25, a day after the Centre came out with the notification of the tribunal.(HT Photo)
         

Hours after the Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday asked three top Chandigarh administration officers to remain present in the court on Wednesday in view of agitating lawyers not allowing litigants to enter courts for nearly two weeks now, the Bar association said that litigants won’t be stopped from tomorrow.

Those asked by the high court to remain present on Thursday are Manoj Parida, the adviser to the UT administrator; Arun Kumar Gupta home secretary, and director general of police (DGP) Sanjay Baniwal, observing that “the responsibility to ensure peace, harmony and law and order around the high court premises rests with the Chandigarh administration”.

The lawyers had been laying siege to the main gate of the high court and locked other entry points in protest against Haryana’s decision to set up an administrative tribunal. The work was suspended by Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association (PHHCBA) on July 25, a day after the Centre came out with the notification of the tribunal.  Lawyers are demanding roll back of the decision, arguing that tribunalisation was resulting in infringement of jurisdiction of high court. Nearly 10,000 lawyers appear in high court daily, including 4,000 registered members of the Bar.  

The high court full bench, which called top three UT officers to court acted on the complaints of litigants, who had submitted that they were desirous of appearing in person being forcibly denied entry onto the premises of the high court despite having valid entry pass.  “…..even the litigants who intend to file their petitions in person are being stopped forcibly. This Court cannot sit as a mute spectator to all this,” the court observed asking three top officers to be present in court.

Lawyers to continue with strike

Even as Haryana government constituted a panel headed by chief secretary on Monday to look into the matter, the lawyers in a general house meeting held in the afternoon on Tuesday decided to continue with the strike demanding that tribunal be scrapped. However, the general house meeting turned out to be a stormy one. Many of the lawyers were in favour of calling off the strike   and heated exchange of words was witnessed between different groups. The general house meeting too ended abruptly.

As of panel, it was set up after a meeting between chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and representatives of Bar, on Friday last in New Delhi.  It will have members from Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, representatives of PHHCBA , nominee of state’s advocate general office and representatives of employees’ Unions. The panel will look into the “legality, viability and workability of tribunal”.

Scores of petitions dismissed, Bar fined ₹50,000

Scores of petitions were dismissed by different judges recording that “dismissed for non-prosecution” as none had appeared. A bench presided over by justice Manoj Bajaj imposed a fine of ₹50,000 on the Bar as in a illegal detention case, one of the parties was not allowed to enter the court by lawyers. The court also took note of reports that lawyers manhandled litigants, mediapersons and court staff.

First Published: Aug 14, 2019 00:56 IST

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