Supreme Court Refuses To Consider Bail Applications Of Lawyers Arrested For Vandalism In Odisha Court Premises

Sohini Chowdhury

27 Jan 2023 7:23 AM GMT

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  • Supreme Court Refuses To Consider Bail Applications Of Lawyers Arrested For Vandalism In Odisha Court Premises

    The Supreme Court, on Friday, refused to entertain bail applications of the lawyers who had indulged in vandalism in court premises during their strike demanding formation of new Benches of the Orissa High Court.The Counsel appearing on behalf of the Central Action Committee (CAC) of all Bar Associations of Western Odisha, submitted that about 30 advocates, including 4 women, are behind the...

    The Supreme Court, on Friday, refused to entertain bail applications of the lawyers who had indulged in vandalism in court premises during their strike demanding formation of new Benches of the Orissa High Court.

    The Counsel appearing on behalf of the Central Action Committee (CAC) of all Bar Associations of Western Odisha, submitted that about 30 advocates, including 4 women, are behind the bars since the past 45 days. He submitted that the District Court has refused to enlarge the advocates on bail. Their bail applications are now before the Odisha High Court. The Counsel claimed that the High Court has deferred the hearing on several occasions.

    Stating, ‘we are not a bail court’, a Bench comprising Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice A.S. Oka asked the Counsel to pursue the matter before the High Court. Justice Kaul remarked -

    “...No indulgence. Apply there.”

    In December, 2022, a strike called by the District Bar Association, Sambalpur demanding the establishment of a permanent Bench of Orissa High Court in Sambalpur district had gone rogue when massive clashes erupted between the lawyers and the police. The Supreme Court had passed orders to the State Government of Odisha and the State Police to take stringent actions against striking lawyers. Apart from the Bar Council suspending the license of the concerned advocates, police arrests were also made.

    Earlier, the Bench had been critical of the conduct of the advocates who had indulged in vandalism and had asked the authorities to not ‘moddlycoddle’ them. The Court endeavoured to remind the advocates that their duty is to assist the litigants in attaining justice and not hinder their cause.

    “We must impress upon the legal fraternity that the privilege to have a license of a lawyer is to use it responsibly...The disruption of normal functioning affects the litigants. We are saying so in the general context not with respect to the incident...."

    Their act of burning effigies and browbeating the Advocate General, members of Bar Council of India and members of Bar Council of the State was strongly condemned by the Bench.

    Previously when the Counsel for CAC had implored the Bench to grant expeditious hearing of the bail applications of the lawyers, the Bench had declined the request. It had observed -

    “A request is made that their bail applications be considered as per law. Our view is that every court acts as per law and there is no need to show any indulgence to these lawyers."

    [Case Title: M/s. PLR Projects Pvt. Ltd. v. Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. And Ors. Diary No. 33859/2022]


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