The Calcutta High Court has sought replies from the President and Secretary of the Medinipur Bar Association explaining why action must not be taken against them in light of the incessant lawyers' strike in the district.
The division bench of Justices Suvra Ghosh and Joymalya Bagchi noted that the striking lawyers in the Mendipur District of West Bengal not only held back from appearing before the courts but also obstructed access to the court premises to all, including judges, police officers, staff and willing litigants.
"These matters relate to protracted cessation of work in law courts in the District Judgeship of Paschim Medinipur due to wildcat lawyers' strike which impeded the administration of justice in the district. Public servants including judges, police personnel and other stakeholders were not allowed to enter court premises. Witnesses particularly victims could not be examined resulting in delay and incalculable inconvenience to them…Under such circumstances, we consider it prudent to direct the alleged contemnors to place on record their responses by way of affidavits," the bench said.
The high court was appraised of the matter last month in a bail plea wherein original case records could not be produced due to the long drawn lawyers' strike, starting from December 20, 2019. Consequently, show cause notices were issued to the President and Secretary of the Bar Association to show cause for not initiating contempt proceedings against them.
Notwithstanding their unqualified apologies, the bench has asked them to file their respective affidavits by March 17 and to show-cause why contempt proceeding should not be initiated against them for obstruction and/or interference with administration of justice.
Case Title: Aijul Gharami v. State of West Bengal
Case No.: CRM 12209/2019 (with other connected matters)
Quorum: Justice Suvra Ghosh & Justice Joymalya Bagchi
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