The Karnataka High Court today made it crystal clear that it would not hesitate to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against those lawyers who shout slogans and prevent advocates from filing bail applications for the three Kashmiri students charged with sedition..A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Hemant Chandangoudar orally observed that the Hubli Bar Association resolution was the root cause that led to lawyers protesting and agitating. Therefore, the officer bearers must take responsibility for the situation, the Court stated..The Court further noted:"Whether they will be able to control the situation, otherwise the previous order for providing police protection has to continue.".Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi informed the Court that the previous resolution passed on February 15 had been been modified. AG Navadgi also added that since the previous resolution has been modified, the February 15 resolution stands withdrawn. However, on further insistence of the Court, AG Navadgi stated that a fresh resolution would be passed by the Bar Association recalling and cancelling the February 15 resolution. In this regard, the Court observed, "The resolution has to be withdrawn. Let there be a fresh resolution.".It is the responsibility of the Bar to ensure that the rights of accused are respected, CJ Oka held..The High Court further stated that the bail matter would not be transferred as of today, as it wanted to ensure that the bail applications would be properly heard by the same court..Lawyers being prevented from filing bail applications for Kashmiri students is "sheer militancy": Karnataka HC.However, to avoid further complications, the High Court passed an order directing the Commissioner of Police to provide complete police protection to those the lawyers appearing for the three engineering students charged with sedition. In this regard, the Court held that,."In view of the gesture of the Bar Association, we are sure that there will not be any difficulty...Though the accused had been arrested on February 15, bail applications have not been filed till today. We, therefore, propose to continue with the earlier order of Police protection for lawyers in Dharwad Court."Karnataka High Court.The Court further directed the Commissioner of Police to collect and submit to the Court the names and addresses of those members of the Bar who indulge in shouting slogans and preventing lawyers from filing bail applications for the accused..Additionally, the Court directed the Dharwad Trial Court to accept, process and assign the bail applications to the Hubli Trial Court. The Court further stated that these bail applications should be looked upon "as any other bail application". In this regard, the Court observed that if the previous situation is repeated, the same would affect the "entire Judicial system of the State.".In its order, the Court further lauded AG Navadgi stating that his "timely intervention" had avoided a "drastic order" of the Court in the matter..The matter will be next heard on March 6..The petition was filed by lawyers from the state challenging the resolution of the Hubli Bar Association which stated that none of its lawyers would appear for the three Kashmiri students who were charged with sedition. .The Association had resolved on February 15 that none of its members would appear for the three Kashmiri students who were arrested on charges of sedition for allegedly raising pro-Pakistan slogans and posting it on social media. .The resolution stated that the accused persons had indulged in "anti-national activities" and that no advocate from the Bar Association would be appearing on their behalf..Notably, this is not the first time in the recent past that a Bar Association in Karnataka had passed a resolution asking its members to abstain from appearing for a particular person. Recently, the Mysuru Bar Association had passed a similar resolution requesting all its members to refrain from appearing for Nalini Balakumar, who was charged with sedition for holding a Free Kashmir placard during an anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) protest.It is reported that officials of Hubli Bar Association has stated that, "We have withdrawn our resolution that our members would not appear for three Kashmiri students (booked for sedition). Advocate who wish to appear for the accused can approach Dharwad Principal District Court to file bail plea for them."