The Allahabad High Court has issued a contempt notice to 13 lawyers of Agra district after taking cognisance of an illegal strike and an allegation of misbehaviour with several judges upon a reference by Smt. Saroj Yadav, district judge, Agra.
The contempt notice was issued for unethical conduct shown by these lawyers when they allegedly barged into a courtroom in July and August and created a ruckus, halting the ongoing court proceedings.
The bench comprising Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Ravindra Nath Kakkar heard the matter and found that the allegations contained in Smt. Saroj Yadav’s reference prima facie disclosed that these lawyers satisfied the ingredients of criminal contempt defined under Section 2(c) of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 and thus, initiated criminal proceedings against them.
According to Times of India reports, the lawyers were protesting against water logging problem that creates a problem for them to work, especially during monsoon season. The lawyers had called a strike to express their grievance on 29th and 30th July, 2016, followed by a strike on 1st, 4th and 5th August, 2016. District Court judge Saroj Yadav wrote to the Allahabad High Court informing it about the said misbehaviour.
The notice was issued to the lawyers through the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Agra, to show cause as to why charge may not be framed against them and they should not be tried for committing criminal contempt and punished under the provisions of Act, 1971. They were given a time period of two weeks from after receipt of notice to submit their reply.
Advocate Sudhir Mehrotra was appointed as Special Counsel to assist this court in this matter. Scheduling the next hearing for 7th November, 2016, the court said:
“List this matter on 7th November, 2016 on which date the aforesaid persons namely S/Sri Arun Pachauri, Narendra Sharma, Birendra Faujdar, Mukesh Sharma, S.P. Bharadwaj, Sharad Kumar Lawaniya, Sanjay Sharma, Suresh Chand Sharma, Tejvir Singh, Amarnath Sharma, Hemant Bharadwaj, Ajay Singh Chahar, Suresh Sharma, Nasir Warsi and Ashok Kumar Kotia, Advocates, Agra shall also remain present in person before the Court.”
Read the order here.