oppn parties Lawyers' Strike At Calcutta HC Is Becoming Counter-Productive

News Snippets

  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Lawyers' Strike At Calcutta HC Is Becoming Counter-Productive

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The Calcutta High Court has a sanctioned strength of 72 judges. After three judges joined recently, there are presently 33 serving judges out of which two are assigned to the Port Blair circuit banch. Five new names have been sanctioned by the Supreme Court collegium that will bring the strength to 38. At the end of February 2018, the court had 18779 cases pending on the original side and 203982 on the appellate side. This makes for a sorry state of affairs with the ends of justice not being met due to delays on account of lack of judges.

Having said this, the ongoing lawyers’ strike at the court, to press for appointment of more judges, is even more disastrous for litigants. It has brought work to a standstill and even the 5000-odd cases that were disposed of in a month by the serving judges are getting delayed. The lawyers are cutting their noses to spite their face. They struck work on February 18 this year and the strike is not likely to end any time soon. Entreaties by acting Chief Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya and two of his senior-most colleagues, Justice Anirudha Bose and Justice Debasish Kar Gupta have fallen on deaf ears and all the three lawyers’ bodies - Calcutta High Court Bar Association, Bar Library Club and Incorporated Law Society – have not budged from their stand.

The lawyers must understand that paucity of judges is just one of the reasons for backlog of cases. There are several other reasons like innumerable holidays, cease work by lawyers due to various reasons and adjournments sought by lawyers, among other things. The lawyers serving at Calcutta High Court have made their point by raising awareness about the deplorable bench strength at the court and the harm it is doing to litigants. But by prolonging their strike, they are doing more harm. Justice is not being delivered and litigants are suffering. Hence, they should now resume work.