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

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  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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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.