BCI revokes suggestion to take action against lawyers going on strike
The Bar Council of India (BCI) on Thursday withdrew the suggestion to the Law Commission which stated that advocates should be banned from going on strike and imposed with penalties if they do.
The withdrawal came after judicial work in Delhi came to a near standstill on Thursday after around 6,000 lawyers went on strike to 'safeguard the dignity' of the legal profession.
According to court sources, around 10,000 cases are being heard in Delhi courts on a daily basis. As many lawyers remained absent in the court room, the judges adjourned the cases.
BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra, observing the protest march of the city lawyers, recommended to the Law Commission to reconsider the Council's suggestion.
The decision was taken after around 1,000 lawyers held a protest march outside the BCI office at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg on Thursday afternoon.
Delhi Police beefed up security outside the BCI office and also all shops were closed at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg. Mishra came out from his office and met the lawyers and assured them that he will withdraw the suggestion.
Earlier in the day, the lawyers burnt an effigy of Mishra to vent their anger against the arbitrary decision of the BCI. They shouted slogans against Mishra, stating that his dictatorship would not be tolerated as he was misusing his power.
The Coordination Committee of All District Court Bar Associations of Delhi said the strike in all six district courts — Patiala House, Tis Hazari, Rohini, Karkardooma, Saket and Dwarka — achieved success.
According to the Committee's spokesperson Jaibeer Singh Chauhan, the strike of more than 6,000 lawyers was not against the BCI or any other organisation, but 'to safeguard the dignity' of the profession. Former Delhi High Court Bar Association President Rajiv Khosla, in an act to support the move, joined the protest at the BCI office.
"The fight is to safeguard the interest and dignity of the legal profession, because we provide social service to people," Khosla said.
New Delhi Bar Association President Santosh Mishra, said: "None of the lawyers will appear before the court as we have decided to abstain from work. The strike has been successful."
A staff in one of the courts stated that due to the strike, the courts adjourned most of the matters without any argument. Expressing concern over the adjourning of the cases, Khosla said: "Around 10,000-12,000 matters listed on Thursday were adjourned without any valuable arguments. But, if lawyers will be restrained from protesting against arbitrariness, then such hard decisions have to be taken to protect their rights."
The court only took up those matters which were related to the filing of a status report and written submissions or remand proceedings, the staff added.