Ceasework ends, Calcutta HC lawyers resume work
Kolkata: The lawyers' strike at the Calcutta High Court ended today after 70 days of cease-work, the longest in the history of the state's highest judiciary.
Three lawyers' associations had called for the cease-work on February 19, demanding immediate filling up of the vacant posts of judges at the high court to expedite the disposal of pending cases.
The corridors of the court were abuzz this morning as hundreds of lawyers and litigants attended the hearings after the prolonged agitation that had affected the justice delivery system in West Bengal.
A total of 2,23,921 cases were pending before the court at the end of March this year, according to official data.
The Bar Association, which commands the affiliation of most of the lawyers practising in the high court, called off the cease-work on Saturday, a day after the Centre cleared the appointment of four judges and the chief justice to the court.
Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya will take oath as the Chief Justice tomorrow, the office of the Registrar General said.
The high court was headed by acting chief justices for over three years, with the exception of three months in between, Bar Association president Uttam Majumdar said.
The court has a sanctioned strength of 72 judges, of which 42 posts were vacant when the agitation commenced in February. Three advocates took oath on March 12, raising the strength of sitting judges to 33.
The lawyers, however, had extended their strike, seeking recruitment in at least 50 per cent of the sanctioned seats.
The Bar Library Club and the Incorporated Law Society have also withdrawn the agitation and resumed work today.
In 2002, the lawyers had resorted to a strike for two months to protest a hike in the stamp duty by the West Bengal government.