The Calcutta High Court taking a severe view asked the President and Secretaries of the Medinipur District Bar Associations that why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them. Order to that effect was passed by Justice Suvra Ghosh and Justice Joymalya Bagchi
on January 09, 2020. Midnapur District Bar Association has been asked to file their response by February 17, 2020.Lawyers have been striking since Dec 20, 2019 in the Medinipur District Court. It came to notice of the HC that the striking Lawyers not only stopped from appearing before the Courts but also obstructed access to the Court premises to all, including Judges, Police Officers, staff and willing litigants.Following is the excerpt of the order,
“Report placed before us discloses sufficient materials to make a prima facie view that the conduct of the striking lawyers amounts to interference with the administration of justice and has resulted in complete paralysis in the dispensation of justice in the said district. Under such circumstances, we direct the Presidents and Secretaries of the concerned Bar Associations…to show cause why contempt proceedings shall not be initiated against them in terms of law declared by the apex court in Harish Uppal (Ex-Capt.) Vs. Union of India (2003) 2 SCC 45."
Annoyance of the Court towards state of affairs is visible from the order, "The aforesaid state of affairs depicts a cavalier attitude on the part of the lawyers to the rule of law and repeated pronouncements of the Apex Court that a strike in court resulting in paralysis of administration of justice amounts to criminal contempt…The report placed before us discloses sufficient materials to make a prima facie view that the conduct of the striking lawyers amounts to interference with the administration of justice and has resulted in complete paralysis in the dispensation of justice in the said district."
The Court also directed the District Judge and the Superintendent of Police to ensure that:
- Court premises at Medinipur Sadar is kept open and accessible to all, without any sort of obstruction.
- Prompt investigation for committing a cognizable offense is initiated against lawyers who cause obstruction to judges/police personnel/staff/willing lawyers/litigants and other stakeholders in the administration of justice.
- No obstruction is made in the furnishing of bail bonds by sureties including the family members of accused persons.
Author : Parth Thummar