Advocates go on relay hunger strike against judicial vacancies

Advocates go on relay hunger strike against judicial vacancies

Advocates go on relay hunger strike against judicial vacancies

Hundreds of advocates and senior counsels began a relay hunger strike on Monday, demanding that long-pending judicial vacancies  in the Karnataka High Court be filled up.

The eight-day-long strike is led by former advocate generals and senior counsels. The advocates launched the strike in front of the Golden Jubilee Gate of the High Court of Karnataka.

Speaking to DH, senior counsel B V Acharya said, "It is the litigant citizen who is suffering the most as justice is being denied to him. Lakhs of cases are pending in the high court. Given the present circumstances, it will easily take 15 years for those cases to be disposed of."

Acharya expressed disappointment, saying that the government talked highly about access to justice, but here justice was being denied to its citizens. The judiciary is in a state of chaos, which is leading to the public losing faith in the judiciary.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah too extended his support to the strike when he met the protesting advocates  on Monday.

"The central government is adopting a step motherly attitude towards the grave issue of appointing judges to the high court of Karnataka. I extend my support to this cause. I, along with the law minister, will meet the prime minister and the union law minister next week and take up this issue with them," he said.

The chief minister said the 62% vacancy in the high court was affecting the judiciary at large.

Earlier in the day, D V Sadananda Gowda, Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation, also visited the protest venue. He requested the advocates to withdraw the protest and said he would bring the matter to the notice of the higher authorities.

"At least 3.24 lakh cases are pending in the Bengaluru bench alone. This will have an adverse effect on the judiciary and the public at large,"said AP Ranganath, president of Advocates' Association, Bengaluru.

Against the sanctioned strength of 62 judges, only 24 posts are filled in the high court. Out of this, eight judges are serving at the Dharwad and Kalaburagi benches.

Members of The Advocates Association, Bengaluru and the Karnataka State Bar Council are taking part in the strike.