No bar association can pressure the chief justice to change a judge’s roster: Supreme Court

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Strongly opposing the call for a boycott by the Jaipur Bar Association, the Supreme Court observed on Monday that the bar association and lawyers cannot pressure a chief justice to amend a judge’s list.

The court declared categorically “we will not tolerate attempts by associations to put pressure on judges”.

The bench of Judges MR Shah and AS Bopanna was listening to his petition in which he sent a notice of contempt to members of the Rajasthan High Court Bar Jaipur Bench for boycotting a single High Court bench in connection with the strike.

The bench also asked the Registrar General of the High Court of Rajasthan in Jaipur to submit a report outlining exactly what happened on September 27, 2021 as well as a resolution from the Bar Association refraining from work on September 27. September 2021.

“Dr Abhinav Sharma represents the current Bar Association and requests a deadline to file a response to indicate the real facts about what happened on September 27, 2021. Presented on November 16, 2021. In the meantime, we ask to the Registrar General of The High Court of Rajasthan in Jaipur must submit a report stating exactly what happened on September 27, 2021 as well as a resolution from the Bar Association refraining from work on September 27, 2021. The report must be sent no later than November 12, “ Supreme Court in their order noted.

When the case was called for the hearing, Dr Abhinav Sharma, representing the Bar Association of the High Court of Jaipur, argued that there had been no strike on September 27, 2021, but that there had been some disagreement between the sitting judge and the lawyers because of his refusal to give an emergency notice. registration for a petition asking for the protection of a lawyer.

“There was no strike that day. In fact, there was an attack on a lawyer and a threat to his life. A request was made to the single judge to register his request to which the judge disagreed and there was some disagreement.The case was then considered by the Chief JusticeDr Sharma submitted. The lawyer added that the events had been poorly reported by the media.

Judge MR Shah, Presiding Judge remarked orally, “How can lawyers request that the list of single learned judges be changed. No bar association can pressure the chief justice to change the list. The chief justice is the master of the list. “

At this point, Bench also expressed his intention to instruct the Registrar of the High Court of Rajasthan to submit a report indicating what exactly happened on September 27, 2021.

“Mr. Lawyer, you make sure that the lawyers and the bar association cannot force changes to the list. It is not for you to tell the Chief Justice to change the list. ” Judge Shah added.

While the lawyer for the Jaipur High Court Bar Association asked for time to file a response to highlight the real facts about what happened, Judge Shah noted:

“It is nothing more than to come into the administration of justice and put pressure on the judge.”

Before adjourning the case until November 16, 2021, Judge Shah also asked Manan Kumar Mishra, Chairman of the Indian Bar Council to ensure that nothing like this happens in the future.

“Mr. Mishra, please note that nothing like this is happening. The Bar Association cannot force to change the list and put pressure on the judge,” said Judge Shah.

The issue concerns the boycott by the Jaipur Bar Association of the Satish Kumar Sharma Court of Justice. The boycott resolution was passed after the judge would have refused to give urgent registration to a petition seeking the protection of a lawyer. The association called for the list to be amended to remove Judge Sharma’s criminal cases from the bench.

Notice of contempt of the Supreme Court

Supreme Court issued notice of contempt show cause to Jaipur Bar in case District Bar Association, Dehradun through its secretary against Ishwar Shandilya & Ors, in which he took suo motu knowledge of the trend in lawyers’ strikes. The bench had previously sought help from the Indian Bar Council to resolve the issue.

The Indian Bar Council later told the judiciary that after a meeting with state bar councils it proposed to develop rules to restrict lawyer strikes and court boycotts and to take action against them. bars that act in violation and against lawyers who encourage such strikes through social networks.

At a later court date, the judiciary said it would adopt a “detailed order” to deal with the matter. The judiciary also observed that it was considering setting up a local level grievance mechanism for lawyers so that their legitimate grievances could be addressed through an appropriate platform instead of resorting to a strike.

On February 28, 2020, the Supreme Court, taking serious note of the fact that despite the consistent decisions of the Court, the lawyers / bar associations went on strike, took cognizance of the motorcycle and addressed opinions to the Council of Bar of India and all to the Councils of State Bars to suggest the way forward and make concrete suggestions to deal with the problem of strikes / abstention from work by lawyers.

The court’s suo motu action came by dismissing an appeal filed by the Dehradun District Bar Association against a judgment by the Uttarakhand High Court that declared the lawyers’ strikes illegal.

Case title: District Bar Association against Ishwar Shandilya and Ors | MA 859/2020 in SLP (C) 5440/2020


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