A show cause notice has been served to the chairman of the State Bar Council chairman and every elected member of the State Bar Council for seeking the reason why criminal proceedings should not be initiated against them for compelling lawyers to abstain from judicial work. The protest has been going on in the state against the order passed by the High court in which district courts are required to identify and dispose of the 25 oldest cases in each court within three months.
Single-judge Justice Atul Sreedharan observed that “The State Bar Council, instead of resolving the issue in consultation with the Chief Justice and knowing fully well that has the option to challenge on the judicial side, the administrative order passed by the Hon’ble the Chief Justice, chose the path of confrontation without justifiable cause and attempted to bring the functioning of the entire High Court and the District Judiciary to a standstill.”
It is pertinent to note that in the case of Harish Uppal v Union of India, it was held by the Supreme Court that lawyers do not have the right to resort to strikes. “The plight of the Bar, especially the junior bar is well known and they find themselves in a “between the devil and the deep sea” situation are helplessness to go against the illegal diktat of the State Bar Council and are compelled to abstain from work despite their unwillingness, and are equal victims of the capricious action of the State Bar Council as the litigants are” the court further observed.