Cal HC lawyer strike extended till April 25
Around 10,000 lawyers are participating in the strike, bringing the country’s oldest high court to a standstill since February 18. The lawyers are demanding appointment of more judges.kolkata Updated: Apr 19, 2018 21:26 IST
The lawyer strike at Calcutta high court has been extended till April 25, the leader of the agitating lawyers said on Thursday shortly after the decision was taken in a review meeting while the unprecedented cease work entered its 60th day.
“We have decided to extend our agitation till April 25. Our next move will be decided on April 26,” said Uttam Majumdar, president of the Bar Association, the biggest body of lawyers in the court.
The strike has also been supported by the Bar Library and Incorporated Law Society. Around 10,000 lawyers are participating in the strike, bringing the country’s oldest high court to a standstill since February 18.
Though there is a sanctioned strength of 72 judges in Calcutta high court, there are only 33 right now. Two of these 33 judges are deputed at Port Blair circuit bench in the Andamans, thus effectively reducing the number to 31.
The Bar Association’s argument is 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 a 45% strength, the association has argued.
Meanwhile, some petitioners have decided to appear in person for hearing in their cases.
One such case pertains to the PIL filed by a psychologist, Pompi Banerjee, a social worker and three human trafficking survivors demanding state-level rehabilitation policy, right to repatriation and compensation for trafficked women.
The PIL against the Bengal government was filed in May 2017 and finally it was listed for hearing on April 20, 2018. But in the absence of advocates, who are on strike, the five litigants have decided to argue the case themselves.
On April 17, Biswanath Goswami, an RTI activist, filed a public interest litigation seeking court intervention to bring an end to the cease work. The application was addressed to the Chief Justice of India.