Orissa High Court Bar Association suspends Court Boycott [Read Resolution]

Orissa High Court Bar Association suspends Court Boycott [Read Resolution]

Bar & Bench

Following a general body meeting held on Friday afternoon, the Orissa High Court Bar Association has decided to call off its boycott and resume court work.

In this regard, a notification issued by the Bar Association states,

In considering the request of the Bar Council of India and the Majority opinion of the Senior Advocates and the Action Committee members and further taking into consideration the assurance of Hon’ble Law Minister of India to look into the grievances and demands of our Bar Association, the High Court Bar Association resolves to suspend the “abstaining from Court work” and resume the court work in the interest of Litigant public while continuing its struggle for protecting the interest of lawyers and the Bar Association and raising its voice against unfair and arbitrary action of the authorities undermining the dignity and independence of judiciary in the appropriate forums (sic).”

The development comes close on the heels of recent critical observations made by the Supreme Court on the issue. On October 24, the Apex Court observed that there was little doubt that the conduct of the lawyers fell within the domain of contempt. 

The Supreme Court made the observation while issuing notice to the Bar Council of India in the matter, and calling for the body to report on the steps taken against the lawyers participating in the court boycott. Further, the Court had also sought the personal presence of the Chairman of the Orissa State Bar Council as well as the President of the Orissa High Court Bar Association for the next hearing scheduled on November 8.

Lawyers in the state of Orissa first went on strike in April this year, when the Orissa High Court Bar Association passed a resolution registering its protest against certain recommendations made by the High Court Collegium for elevation to the High Court. The lawyers protested the recommendation to elevate lawyers who are not regular practitioners before the High Court,

More recently, the Orissa High Court Bar Association resolved to boycott the courts of the High Court Collegium judges after the Supreme Court Collegium recommended the appointments of judicial officer Bibhu Prasad Routray and Advocate Sanjeeb Kumar Panigrahi as judges of the Orissa High Court.

In view of the “continuous strikes” over the past six months, the Orissa High Court earlier in October initiated suo motu contempt proceedings against 68 bar associations, including the High Court Bar Association.

[Read the Resolution]

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