Supreme Court issues notice of contempt of Bar of Rajasthan HC in Jaipur

The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice of contempt of members of the Rajasthan High Court Bar in Jaipur for boycotting a High Court bench in connection with a strike.

A bench including Judges MR Shah and AS Bopanna noted that despite repeated Supreme Court rulings banning court boycotts and frowned upon lawyer strikes, the Jaipur HC Bar called a strike on September 27.

Senior lawyer Manan Kumar Mishra, Chairman of the Bar Council of India, informed the judiciary that the BCI had sent a notice to the Jaipur Bar Association regarding the boycott and that they responded by stating that the boycott concerned only one court. of the High Court.

The Supreme Court has sternly declared that even a boycott of a single courtroom cannot be tolerated.

“Even this also cannot be tolerated. Boycotting a single court will hamper the independence of the judiciary and there may be pressure on the particular judge whose court is boycotted and this can lead to demoralizing the judiciary.”, the Supreme Court said in the order.

“Send a notice to the president, secretary and members of the board of the Bar Association of the High Court of Rajasthan in Jaipur as to why contempt proceedings cannot be brought against them”, the order listed.

The notices, which are to be served on the respondents through the Registrar General of the High Court, are due October 25.

“Going on strike by the Bar Association and the lawyers is utterly contemptuous and completely contrary to previous decisions of this Court in the Ex-Capt case. Harish Uppal v. Union of India, (2003) 2 SCC 45; Common Cause, A Registered Society vs Union of India, (2006) 9 SCC 295; Krishnakant Tamrakar vs State of MP, (2018) 17 SCC 27 and District Bar Association, Dehradun through his secretary vs Ishwar Shandilya & Ors., 2020 SCC Online SC 24 “, the order noted.

The issue concerns the Jaipur Bar Association’s boycott of the Satish Kumar Sharma court. 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 of the Uttarakhand High Court which declared the lawyers’ strikes illegal.

Click here to read / download the order

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