Strike ends, lawyers to resume work in Calcutta HC after record 71 days
The strike — demanding filling of judges’ vacancies in the court — is the longest in the history of the country’s oldest high court.Updated: Apr 28, 2018 17:12 IST
The lawyers’ strike in Calcutta high court will end on Monday, 71 days after more than 10,000 lawyers stopped work demanding filling of judges’ vacancies in the court.
The strike is the longest in the history of the country’s oldest high court.
The cease-work was launched on February 18 by three bodies of lawyers — the Bar Association, Bar Library and Incorporated Law Society.
“We have decided to resume work from Monday. In our meeting on April 26, we had adopted a resolution that if our demands are met, we will resume work without waiting for another meeting and adopt another resolution,” said Uttam Majumdar, the president of Bar Association, the largest body of lawyers.
On April 27, Rajinder Kashyap, joint secretary to the government of India, issued a notification announcing the appointment of Biswajit Basu, Amrita Sinha, Abhijit Gangopadhyay and Jay Sengupta as judges of Calcutta high court.
With them, the number of judges in the court will go up to 37, although the sanctioned strength of the court is 72 judges.
Moreover, with two of the judges being deputed at Port Blair circuit bench, the effective number comes down to 35.
On April 26, Kausik Chanda, additional solicitor general of India, wrote to the additional government advocate in-charge of the ministry of law in Kolkata, saying a number of important litigations where the government of India is a party are being moved ex-parte in person.
“It is imperative that the Union of India should be represented through its counsel. All the learned advocates, empanelled under the ministry of law and justice, are requested to appear before the honourable court in the matter where he has been briefed,” Chanda wrote.
More than 2.2 lakh cases are pending at the Calcutta high court.
Earlier, the Bar Association president alleged that except Karnataka high court, every high court in the country has more than 50-60% of the sanctioned strength of judges.
“Only Calcutta high court is functioning with 45% strength,” Majumdar said.
In 2004, lawyers did not work for 45 days to protest against steep rise in stamp duty, but that was a part of a state-wide stir.