Litigants suffer as lawyers’ strike hits courts

NEW DELHI - Lawyers of district courts across the country Tuesday went on a daylong strike demanding withdrawal of amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) that allow police not to arrest an accused in offences punishable up to seven years in jail.

Lawyers abstained themselves from appearing in the courts, stalling work in the courts. Cases had to be adjourned to the next date. This caused inconvenience to thousands of litigants.

‘The strike is in favour of the society as the proposed amendments (in the CrPC) will give criminals a free run and deteriorate the law and order situation. We would intensify our agitation further until the revocation of the amendments,’ said Rajiv Khosla, spokesperson of a lawyers’s association.

‘The proposed amendments would remove fear from the mind of criminals, who will misuse the provisions under the garb of personal liberty,’ said Khosla said.

He said as many as 18 district court bar associations and 14 bar associations of various high courts are participating in the strike.

Khosla said advocates of about 14 high courts in the country also joined the nation-wide protest.

Last month, lawyers struck work four times on similar demands, putting thousands of litigants to inconvenience.

‘I have come all the way from Noida to get a bail (sanctioned) for my son-in-law in a cheque bounce case. But my lawyer refused to represent today,’ said Jagdish Chander, as he was worried his son-in-law would have to spend one more night in a jail.

A car rally was also organised here by the lawyers to press for their demands for the withdrawal of the changes in the CrPC.

The lawyers have planned a similar nation-wide strike Feb 18.

Advocates in Delhi and neighbouring areas of Faridabad, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Noida, Moradabad, Hissar, Bulandshahr and Alwar also observed a strike on three occasions so far.

The lawyers’ association has sent a memorandum to the president and the home minister, seeking withdrawal of the proposed amendments.


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