The Supreme Court emphasized that judicial work is disrupted by lawyer strikes and that bar members should instead use a forum to air legitimate complaints.
The factual background of the case
In the case of District Bar Association Dehradun v. Ishwar Shandilya and Ors in Uttarakhand, three district bar associations Dehradun, Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar District Bar Associations practice court boycotts and strikes on every working Saturday followed for 35 Years. The District Bar Associations were condemned by the Court for engaging in this practice for 35 years and claiming that their actions were not protected by the Constitution’s guarantee of the freedom of speech and Expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.
Supreme Court Judgement Analysis
Justices Ahsanuddin Amanullah and MR Shah’s bench noted that “We affirm that no member of the bar may strike But this has happened repeatedly. Genuine complaints should have a forum so that the bar has the opportunity to voice its grievances if any members have”.
Further, the Bench had Emphasized that The disruption of court work by bar association strikes has happened frequently, and it has been observed that there should be a forum where any bar member with legitimate complaints can discuss them.
The supreme court suggested guidelines for the creation of grievance redressal committees at the High Court level, which will be composed of the Chief Justice and two senior judges from the relevant High Court, one of whom must be from the bar and the other from the district judiciary for attorneys to come forward with their issues.