Will frame rules against lawyers' strikes, BCI to SC

Will frame rules against lawyers' strikes, BCI to SC

The top court had earlier sought assistance from the BCI chairman to deal with the lawyers’ strike issue

Representative image. Credit: Getty Images

Lawyers' regulatory body Bar Council of India on Friday told the Supreme Court that it has proposed to frame rules to curb strikes and take action against those who provoked advocates to abstain from court hearings.

Senior advocate Manan Kumar Mishra, also chairman of BCI, submitted before a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah that they have convened a meeting of all state bar bodies on September 4. 

“We propose to formulate rules to curtail strikes by lawyers and to initiate action against advocates who instigate strikes on social media,” he submitted. 

Mishra also apologised for not coming up with suggestions earlier in compliance with the court’s order last year, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The top court took Mishra’s submissions into the record and put a matter for consideration in September.

The top court had earlier sought assistance from the BCI chairman to deal with the lawyers’ strike issue.

It had taken suo moto cognisance of boycotting of courts on every Saturday in the districts of Dehradun, Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar in Uttarakhand, saying this was not justifiable, rather amounted to contempt of court. 

In its February 28, 2020 judgement, the top court said lawyers cannot claim a fundamental right to go on strike or boycott of courts. Even if there is such a right, it cannot be allowed to affect the rights of others to get speedy justice guaranteed under the Constitution, it had said, declaring strike by Dehradun Bar Association as illegal.

It expressed serious concern over lawyers holding a strike every Saturday for 35 years in Uttarakhand district courts over reasons like ''bomb blast in Pakistan'', ''earthquake in Nepal'' or ''condolence references for family members''.

It had then issued notices to the Bar Council of India and all the State Bar Councils to suggest further course of action and to give concrete suggestions to deal with the problem of frequent strikes and abstaining the work by the lawyers. 

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