ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Law unto Themselves

State bar councils need to rein in lawyers’ associations that obstruct the course of justice.

The lawlessness of lawyers was demonstrated yet again when protesting members of the Kathua and Jammu bar associations tried to prevent the police from filing a charge sheet against the accused in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl. This group of lawyers did not stop at their unsuccessful attempts, but went on to declare a strike, bringing the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir to a standstill. They openly appealed to civil society to observe 11 April as a bandh, and have reportedly been threatening the counsel of the Kathua rape victim’s family to stay away from the case. The high court has started functioning since, with the Supreme Court having taken suo motu cognisance of the lawyers’ obstructive behaviour and admonishing them.

Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling in Ex-Captain Harish Uppal v Union of India (2003), where it held that “lawyers have no right to go on strike or give a call for boycott, not even on a token strike,” the bar associations refuse to fall in line. The Supreme Court had further ruled that “no Bar Council or Bar Association can permit calling of a meeting for purposes of considering a call for strike or boycott and requisition, if any, for such meeting must be ignored.”

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Updated On : 24th Apr, 2018

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