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District lawyers halt strike after law minister surrenders, agrees to table pecuniary jurisdiction bill

Protesting lawyers of the six district courts in the national capital Monday called off their indefinite strike after assurances from Law Minister DV. Sadananda Gowda that the amendment bill for enhancing the district courts' pecuniary jurisdiction would be tabled in parliament in the current session.

A delegation comprising representatives of the district courts along with Bharatiya Janata Party Delhi unit president Satish Upadhyay met Gowda Monday morning and as per Upadhyay, the minister assured the group of lawyers that the bill would be sent to the cabinet for clearance and that he would give a statement on the floor of the house Thursday.

"The minister will forward the proposal and has assured that the bill will be introduced in the current session of parliament. He will give a statement on the floor of the house on Dec 18 (Thursday)," Upadhyay said.

The lawyers had been protesting since Dec 9 against the delay in enhancement of pecuniary jurisdiction of trial courts despite the Delhi High Court's recommendation.

New Delhi Bar Association president and committee chairman RK. Wadhwa said: "From today (Monday) onwards we have suspended our strike as the minister has promised to accept our demands."

The committee had said that despite assurances, the proposed bill recommending enhancement of pecuniary jurisdiction to Rs 2 crore for the courts, had found no mention in the agenda of the ongoing winter session of parliament.

Proceedings in six district courts - Patiala House, Tis Hazari, Rohini, Karkardooma, Saket and Dwarka - were paralysed for a week due to the indefinite strike by city lawyers.

Convenor of the committee, advocate Sanjeev Nasiar said that pursuant to the strike, Gowda convened an emergency meeting in his office with the presidents and secretaries of all district bar associations of Delhi.

He added that communication minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Upadhyay were also present at the meeting.

He said: "The minister has decided that the bill regarding the amendment of the Delhi High Court Act, 1966, will be tabled in the ongoing winter session of parliament."

After the assurance by the minister, the co-ordination committee decided to suspend the strike.

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