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Need To Develop A Mechanism To Hear Cases Despite Lawyers Being On Strike So That Litigants Don't Suffer: Allahabad HC

Sparsh Upadhyay
4 Nov 2021 6:31 AM GMT
Need To Develop A Mechanism To Hear Cases Despite Lawyers Being On Strike So That Litigants Dont Suffer: Allahabad HC
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The Allahabad High Court recently observed that there is a need to develop a mechanism regarding court proceedings in a way that the cases could be heard by the courts, despite the lawyers being on strike so that a litigant does not suffer.This assertion came from the bench of Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal while taking into account the 'serious' issue of lawyers' strike and due to which, the...

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The Allahabad High Court recently observed that there is a need to develop a mechanism regarding court proceedings in a way that the cases could be heard by the courts, despite the lawyers being on strike so that a litigant does not suffer.

This assertion came from the bench of Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal while taking into account the 'serious' issue of lawyers' strike and due to which, the Court observed, litigants and society as a whole, suffer.

Essentially, the Court was hearing a plea filed by one Gayatri seeking a direction upon prescribed authority/Sub Divisional Officer to conclude the election petition filed under Section 12-C of U.P. Panchayat Raj Act within shortest span of time.

Court's significant observations 

The Court perused the order-sheet in the instant matter, and found that case was filed on May 19, 2021 and after July 12, 2021, out of 8 dates fixed by prescribed authority, lawyers were on strike on 6 occasions.

The Court also noted that the contesting respondent had already appeared before court below and was granted last opportunity for filing written statement on September 6, 2021.

However, taking into account the prayer of the petitioner seeking expeditious disposal of her case, the Court noted that in view of the conduct of lawyers who are constantly on strike, it can't issue any direction to the prescribed authority.

Significantly, underscroing that in number of cases the order-sheets reveal that in most of the cases, the election petition is not able to proceed due to lawyers abstaining from work, the Court observed thus:

"It is no doubt true that authorities are under bounden duty to conclude the election dispute at the earliest and procedure has been prescribed in the rules for conduct of election petition, but this Court finds that functioning of courts below is hampered by constant strike of lawyers and smooth functioning is not possible...direction issued will be of no use, once the lawyers are abstaining from work and not permitting the officers to work and litigants to enter the campus, the effort made by Court through directions go unattended," the Court observed.

Further, referring to the instant case and expressing disappointment with the conduct of the lawyers, the Court importantly observed thus:

"The present case is a glaring example of conduct of lawyers of court below, in the manner in which they are running the courts and not permitting the courts to function regularly, has caused great loss to litigants and society. It is a serious matter, and some way out has to be found so that litigants do not suffer at the hands of lawyers who resist and create obstacle in working/functioning of court below. Especially in the matters where there are election disputes and the term is for fixed period, a mechanism has to be developed so that the cases are taken up despite the lawyers being on strike and the litigant does not suffer."

Lastly, the petitioner was directed to move an application before the concerned authority/court within 15 days from today for early fixture of the matter and to proceed with the case without help of lawyers, with the presence of litigants and decide the case strictly in accordance with law.

Case title - Smt. Gayatri v. District Election Officer / District Collector District - Jaunpur And 5 Others And 5 Others

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