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The Calcutta High Court on Monday recorded submissions that the alleged contemnors involved in the Paschim Medinipur Lawyers' strike, which drew the Court's ire recently, have tendered an unqualified apology for their conduct.
In turn, the Bench of Justices Joymalya Bagchi and Suvra Ghosh have directed the alleged contemnors to place on record their responses by way of affidavits.
The response affidavits are also to include reasons why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them for obstruction and/or interference with administration of justice.
These affidavits are to be filed by March 17, when the matter will be taken up next.
Last month, the Court had summoned the office bearers of the concerned District Bar Associations to explain why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them over a lawyers’ strike in Paschim Medinipur. The Police and the District Judge in Medipur were also directed to ensure that the strike does not affect the functioning of the Court further.
The strike had drawn the attention of the High Court two weeks earlier, when participating lawyers were complained to have obstructed court access, thereby stalling the progress of a criminal case before it.
On the Court's orders, a police report on the episode was filed, informing the Court that an FIR has been registered against the striking lawyers, who are said to have obstructed access to the court premises to all, “including judges, police officers, staff and willing litigants” on December 20, 2019.
[Read the order passed on February 17, 2020]