Lawyers across Madhya Pradesh are on strike to protest against a policy envisaged by the administration of the High Court to dispose of long-pending cases in district courts..The advocates are protesting against 25 Debt Scheme introduced by the High Court on its administrative side in October 2021 to tackle the issue of old cases which have been pending for many years, and have not been taken up.As per this policy, district courts are required to identify and dispose of the 25 oldest cases in each court within three months..Protests against the policy began last month, with the lawyers deciding to go on strike from Thursday, March 23 till March 25..The protesting advocates have stated that the order has caused havoc, as it is impossible to dispose of 25 cases within 3 months.President of a body called the Madhya Pradesh State Advocates Council, Prem Singh Bhadauria was quoted as saying, "The High Court has ordered that 25 cases should be resolved in three months which is not possible in the judicial process. We are protesting for the same. There are a total of 76,901 pending cases in Gwalior.All lawyers from tehsil level to High Court have participated in the strike on Thursday. More than 1.5 lakh advocates across the State are on strike. The strike will continue for three days and the doors are open for discussion.".He added that judges and lawyers should not work under such pressure..As per report in Dainik Bhaskar, on Thursday, a total of 92,000 lawyers participated in the strike which has expanded from 19 districts in the State to 52 districts.The report further mentions that as a result, pendency of cases has gone up to 2 lakh within a month..In January this year, a meeting was convened involving the registrar general of the High Court and principal and district judges from across the State to discuss the scheme to dispose of the 25 oldest cases in each court. During the meeting, the following clarifications and instructions were issued by the registrar general to the district judges:List of 25 cases for each quarter be prepared and a consolidated list of 100 cases be send to the Registry;Undisposed cases out of the oldest 25 cases by the end of the year 2022 be carry forwarded to the first quarter of the year 2023 which is in addition to the 25 oldest cases of first quarter of 2023;Where a judge holding a link court for any period, the list of 25 oldest cases be prepared from the pending cases of regular/link court proportionately in accordance with the number of working days of link/regular court;Cases under Section 125 CrPC for maintenance (excluding cases under section 125 sub-section (3) CrPC for recovery of maintenance) and Land Acquisition Reference cases be also included in the list of 25 oldest cases.The cases in which the proceedings are stayed by the Hon'ble High Court or Hon'ble Supreme Court, such cases be excluded from the list of oldest 25 cases and a separate list of stayed matters be prepared.These directions were ordered to be brought to the knowledge of all judges working in each district, so that they may take necessary action..Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court Ravi Malimath had revealed during his Republic Day speech this year that the High Court has disposed of 1,21,041 cases in 2022, the oldest of such cases dating back to 1968.He had appreciated the immense success of the 25debt scheme introduced in October 2021 to tackle the issue of old cases which were pending for many years."Older cases were being shelved while other cases were being heard and disposed off. To solve this issue and keeping in mind the huge pendency of cases in the district judiciary, a special programme '25 Debt' was envisaged," CJ Malimath had stated..Meanwhile, Chairman of the Bar Council of India (BCI) Manan Kumar Mishra wrote to the Madhya Pradesh State Bar Council on March 22 calling for a report on the status of the strike and court boycotts across the State.He also requested the State Bar Council to discuss the same with the High Court authorities and find a solution at the earliest."The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India has passed several directions to the statutory bodies to ensure that no strikes/ boycotts and abstentions takes place in any Bar Association. The State Bar Council is accordingly requested and directed to follow the mandates of the Hon be Apex," stated the letter sent by the BCI Chairman.