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CJI takes tough stance on striking Delhi lawyers

Chief Justice of India YK Sabharwal said he would not meet the striking lawyers so long as they do not call it off.

india Updated: Jan 17, 2006 17:13 IST

Taking a tough stand against the the ongoing Delhi Bar Association (DBA) strike, Chief Justice of India YK Sabharwal has said he would not meet the striking lawyers so long as they do not call it off.

"I am not going to meet you (DBA lawyers) if you are on strike," the CJI said delivering the annual Dr KN Katju Memorial Lecture on "Role of the Bar in a Democracy" in New Delhi on Monday evening.

Maintaining that a "silent majority" of lawyers were against any kind of strike, he asked them to raise their voice against it as it earned a bad name to the profession.

Justice Sabharwal made it clear that courts cannot be closed for the interest of the lawyers, who were agitating against the move to shift certain subordinate courts to the new complex at Rohini in West Delhi.

"Who has bothered about the number of cases that are adjourned or cases which could not be decided due to absence of lawyers or about how many litigants have been forced to bear the increasing costs of pending cases?" he asked.

"We have to ask consumers of justice as to what they expect of us. What we have given them in return," the CJI asked reminding lawyers that they were in a service-oriented profession.

Recalling how lawyers had opposed the shifting of the Delhi High Court from Rajpur Road in Old Delhi to the present building in New Delhi, Justice Sabharwal said "it is human tendency. We don't like change."

First Published: Jan 17, 2006 17:13 IST