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Lawyers' strikes are quite common in India, despite having been all but banned by the Supreme Court in the case of Harish Uppal v. Union of India.
04 March 2014

Subrata Sahara grovels, inked, still jailed: Sahara chairman Subrata Roy (after an advocate bystander apparently threw ink at his face and Roy made an unconditional and grovelling apology before justices KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khehar in a packed court room) was sent to Tihar jail for a week by the Supreme Court for having failed to turn up to previous summons to explain why his company has not refunded Rs 20,000 crore to investors as had been ordered by the court [PTI]

Madras lawyers fast for Tamil as official court language: Three Madras lawyers have fasted for eight days now for their demand to make Tamil the official court language of the Madras HC. The MHAA has also planned a demonstration for today and a protest for Thursday in support of the three fasting lawyers [TOI]

Puducherry youngster progress: A welfare fund for aged lawyers, a stipend of Rs 2,000 per month for young lawyers and a new court complex will soon be set up in Puducherry [The Hindu]

Lawyers protest violently against ‘false case’ against colleague: Allahabad lawyers protested against a case filed against one of their colleagues by blockading the road near the HC and damaging a police jeep. The lawyers were demanding immediate withdrawal of the case and that no coercive measures be taken against the colleague [TOI]

Pakistan lawyers strike after terror attack causes Musharraf trial delay: After a terrorist attack in an Islamabad court that killed at least 11, including a additional sessions judge, lawyers called a boycott resulting in postponement of the treason case against former military dictator Pervez Musharraf by a day [PTI]

14 February 2014

SC Judge slams Gov for “scaring away all foreign investors”: “We are sorry to say that lawmakers are not keeping pace with the changing times, especially fast-changing technology. Then you will legislate with retrospective effect, scaring away all foreign investors,” said Justice KS Radhakrishnan today, who had ruled in 2012 that Vodafone would not have to pay Rs 11,000 crore in tax, which was undone by a retrospective amendment by the government [ET]

Is India’s as an investment being damaged by tax disputes? asks [Mint] after Vodafone’s failed conciliation talks with the government over its huge tax bill, Nokia approached the Supreme Court to fight to transfer its India-based factory to Microsoft without a massive tax hit and disputes with IBM and others…

Cong MP sues Kejriwal for defamation for calling him corrupt: Congress MP sues outgoing Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for defamation for calling him one of the “most corrupt persons in India” [CNN-IBN]

Gov pushes for tabling HC judges retirement age bill this session: The Government has pushed for the Lok Sabha the bill pending since 2011 to increase high court judges’ retirement age from 62 to 65 years [PTI]

ET does Cyril Shroff for two hours: The Economic Times does a two hour interview with Amarchand Mangaldas Mumbai managing partner Cyril Shroff and finds out he likes Chinese food (but not much else) [ET]

Bombay HC allows Peta to inspect elephant: The Bombay HC has permitted People for Ethical Treatment to Animals (Peta) to visit Sunder, an elephant that they allege has been abused [DNA]

Lawyers strike forces 87-y-o to argue himself: Due to an advocates strike in Madurai an 87-year-old litigant in a wheelchair had to argue his case himself, reported [TOI]

06 February 2014

Hunger strike for permanent Western Orissa HC bench: Orissa high court lawyers launched an indefinite hunger strike today on the third day of their court boycott, to protest against the lack of a permanent bench of the HC in western Orissa. The lawyers have also asked all banks and financial establishments to join them on 7, 8 and 9 February by lowering their shutters [PTI]

Hunger strike for Tamil as official court language: Two advocates of the Madurai bench of the Madras HC went on a “fast-unto-death” four days ago to push for Tamil to be the official language of the HC [TOI]

Lawyers’ strike brings alive dead industrial tribunal: The Mumbai industrial court, which was paralysed for over two months due to having only one judge out of its quorum of nine, is sort of functional again after the appointment of three judges, reportedly, owing to pressure from a strike by the Labour Law Practitioners’ Association Mumbai [Free Press Journal]

24 January 2014

Lawyers boycott supporting boycott to force judicial transfer: The Allahabad High Court Bar Association boycotted work today in support of the boycott of work by the Awadh Bar Association of Lucknow. In fact Allahabad outdid Awadh and added an extra half-day of boycott after lunch yesterday. The boycotts attempt to force the transfer of Allahabad high court judge Satish Chandra to the “remotest HC of the country” [TOI]

Chhatisgarh HC gets 2 judges: The Chhatisgarh high court today got two new additional judges in Inder Singh Uboweja and Chandra Bhushan Bajpai, taking its total strength to 13 [PTI]

1,400 criminal cases pending v TN lawyers: 1,200 lawyers in Tamil Nadu have criminal backgrounds and 1,424 cases are pending against them, the director general of police told the Madras high court in a petition filed in the HC. The DG seeks to prohibit advocates who qualify in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka from practicing in Tamil Nadu [New Indian Express]

MM moves HC against DU study leave: A Delhi metropolitan magistrate has moved the Delhi high court against the Delhi University’s condition to obtain a two-year study leave from her employer – the Delhi high court – in order to obtain her PhD from the university, calling the condition (arbitrary and unreasonable) [PTI]

SC/ST advocates entitled to held-up grants: Advocates belonging to scheduled communities are eligible for upto Rs 1 lakh of municipal grants annually in Karnataka, for the purpose of buying books. 450 advocates have alleged before the Karnataka high court that the grants have not been released since 1977 [New Indian Express]

Salve challenges CAG audit order: Senior advocate Harish Salve called the Delhi government order, which wanted a CAG audit on power companies, a “Sheikh Chilli” order that gave the CAG the power to audit every private citizen because all taxes go to the consolidated fund of India. He was representing the power companies appealing against the HC’s decision but the HC declined them a stay on its earlier order [Indian Express]

RamJet liplock “controversy”: A photograph has surfaced showing veteran Bollywood actor Dharmendra apparently in a “lip-lock” with politician and senior advocate Ram Jethmalani at the venerable advocate's recent birthday bash. The photo has “caused a stir in social media” as a sight that was both “shocking and unbelievable”, gasped the Times of India

23 October 2013

Maha lawyers’ strike winds down after 54th-day CJ meet: Lawyers from six districts in Maharashtra who were demanding a Bombay HC circuit bench in Kolhapur yesterday ended their 55-day boycott of courts, “respecting the judiciary” after an hour-long meeting with Bombay HC chief justice Mohit Shah who asked them to call off the boycott before taking any decision. He assured them that a senior official has visited Kolhapur to asses the city;s infrastructure for a court [TOI/TOI]

Orissa lawyers end 25-day strike : Orissa high court lawyers will end their 25-days long boycott of courts tomorrow, announced the Orissa High Court Bar Association, adding that a team would visit Delhi to urge the president, prime minister ad union law minister to ignore the state government’s recommendation for circuit benches of the Orissa HC in southern and western Orissa [PTI]

Lawyer files Bombay HC PIL against striking lawyers: Fed up of court boycotts, a Satara-based lawyer Manoj Shirsat has moved a petition in the Bombay HC against the striking Maharashtra and Goa Bar Council and six other bar associations who are demanding a high court bench to be set up in their respective districts [DNA]

05 September 2013

Delhi’s Tis Hazari district court lawyers yesterday boycotted work to protest against allegedly inflated electricity bills for power supplied to their chambers. The Delhi Bar Association (DBA) has demanded a roll back of the bills and to have them resent as domestic instead of non-domestic supply bills, reported the Times of India.

DBA honorary secretary Nitin Ahlawat said:

“The strike is against the high-handedness of Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDA) and the indifferent attitude of the government of NCT of Delhi. The Executive Committee of Delhi Bar Association strongly condemns the illegal attitude and style of working of TPDDL. This private electricity company has unilaterally and without any notice to lawyers (consumers) had changed the tariff of electricity bills of lawyers chambers at Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi from domestic to non-domestic.”

13 August 2013

Pendency down in Delhi trial courts: Delhi trial courts have managed to reduce pendency from 30 per cent in the last one-and-a-half years, with the number of pending cases coming down from 7 lakh to 5 lakh – including all civil and criminal cases before magisterial, district and sessions courts. Cases of dishonoured cheques – a major component of the backlog – have reduced by 50 per cent [TOI]

Holidaying for permanent benches: Pune lawyers want a bench of the Bombay high court in Pune, and are boycotting courts today and tomorrow to stress this demand. The lawyers will further stop presiding before all quasi-judicial bodies until they get a written assurance of the permanent bench from the government. Way to protest! Rajasthan lawyers more conservative in their similar demands [TOI/Bar Association Udaipur]

Unparliamentary petition: The Madras high court dismissed a lawyer’s petition seeking withdrawal of public sector oil companies’ power to fix petrol and diesel prices as they are dependant on the price of crude oil in the international market. The bench dismissed the petition because it used “abusive language” against the prime minister of India [PTI]

Pungent pendency: Bombay high court’s registrar general has directed Maharashtra’s district courts to take up acid attack cases against women on a priority basis for expeditious disposal in the atrocities against women category [DNA]

30 April 2013

Copy wrong: Delhi HC rejects Delhi University students’ plea to vacate order restraining sale of on-campus photocopies of certain texts of the world’s biggest university publishers - Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Taylor & Francis. 33 professors and authors had signed the petition opposing the order [India Today/Firstpost]

Competing demands: Competition Commission of India faces year-on-year increase in pendency since 2010-11, going from 79 to 74 to 70 to finally only 33 cases disposed of last fiscal. Currently 53 cases are pending before the CCI [Hindu BL]

Disability, no bar: Four orthopedically challenged persons win a writ in the Madras HC to consider them for civil judgeship under the disabled-category. [Hindu]

Multiplier unlocked: Holding as meagre a compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh to family of custodial death victim, the Madras HC hiked it to Rs 5.9 lakh using the “multiplier method” [New Indian Express]

Key typewriter jammed: Bandra, Bombay metropolitan magistrate keeps SEBI v Sahara matter hanging four months and adjourning hearings, because of non-availability of his stenographer and other court staffers. SC directs him to expedite the process [Mumbai Mirror]

Indo-Pak justice league: Former Delhi HC judge M A Khan, former Punjab and Haryana HC judges Amarbir Singh Gill and Amarjeet Chaudhary and former Patna HC judge Nagendra Rai have been appointed to the Indo-Pak joint judicial committee to look into steps for humane treatment and release of prisoners languishing in the jails of India and Pakistan [Indian Express]

Seriously lawyers, stop the striking already: Bar Council of India (BCI) and State bar councils can’t call strike and striking advocates are liable to disciplinary action, reiterates Allahabad HC [Express]

25 April 2013

Stop striking, bench tells bar: Karnataka HC asks state bar associations to implement the Bar Council of India’s (BCI) 29 September 2002 resolution which limits an advocate’s absence from court proceedings to one day. Court gives three months to the associations to establish a “grievance redressal committee”, and asks them to frame advocates’ “practice conditions” for the high court [The Hindu]

No remake till make up: The Supreme Court stayed the release of Zanjeer remake until arbitration proceedings over rights finished [TOI]

Anand & Anand promos: The intellectual property (IP) firm promoted managing associates Dhruv Anand, Madhu Rewari, Revanta Mathur, Sandhya Singh, Shrawan Chopra and Swati Sharma to partnership effective 1 April 2013. The firm also made 13 fresh hires [Legal Era]

MV Kini promos: MV Kini & Co promoted principal associate Tavinder Sidhu to partnership in its Delhi office effective 1 April 2013. Sidhu is an advocate on record [Bar & Bench]

Engineering rank: Father writs Madras HC to force Eng colleges in Tamil Nadu to be ranked properly, rather than as advertised [The New Indian Express]

02 April 2013

Indefinite strike: Dwarka Court Bar Association lodges protest writ in Delhi HC against its 19 February notification reassigning criminal cases in Delhi’s West, Southwest and South districts from Saket and Dwarka courts to Tis Hazari and Patiala House. Association lawyers went on indefinite strike as the order was implemented on Friday [Express/HT]

Madurai advocates’ protest and hunger strike against Sri Lankan government for fourth day running. In 2009 similar protests had resulted in a clash with the police after hurling eggs at Janata Party president Subramaniam Swamy [Hindu/TOI]

Vacancies reduce at Patna, Guwahati and Chhattisgarh high courts, after three additional judges are made permanent in Patna, one additional judge is made permanent in Guwahati, and the Chhattisgarh high court gets two new additional judges [NetIndian]

NLS VC chats: NLSIU Bangalore vice chancellor Prof R Venkat Rao on NLSIU’s 100 per cent autonomy, default position on the Rhodes Scholars list and more in an interview with the Express [New Indian Express]

No air fare cap: CCI refuses to hold guilty of unfair competition, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Civil Aviation, for increasing air fares. Says a cap on air fares is not tenable as they are governed by market forces [Zee News]

14 March 2013

A Gujarat advocate has filed a public interest litigation (PIL), alleging that another lawyer was assaulted by a group of advocates trying to enforce Monday’s Bar Council of India’s (BCI) strike to protest against police-lawyer violence.

Advocate Aiml Panchal’s PIL stated that fellow advocate Jal Unwala was humiliated while president, vice-president and office bearers of the Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association (GHAA) and the assistant solicitor general looked on, the Times of India and Indian Express reported.

The Express reported that Unwala alleged that 30 to 35 lawyers “barged into his chamber”, while one slapped him. According to the TOI:

When they came to know that one lawyer conducted a case before Justice R H Shukla, they allegedly barged in his chamber, abused and physically assaulted him before his office staff. The lawyer complained before Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya demanding action against striking lawyers, who indulged in his manhandling, as per the provisions of a Supreme Court order by which it termed the strike ‘illegal’.

The judges in the PIL, Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice Pardiwala, recused themselves yesterday, with the case set to go before another bench now.

08 March 2013

The Bar Council of India (BCI) has called for all lawyers in the country to abstain from work on Monday, 11 March 2013, “in protest against the brutal assault on Lawyers in Jaipur and Chandigarh”.

The notification on the BCI’s website adds:

“The Lawyers all across the country (except the Lawyers of Delhi who have already observed the abstention on 7.3.13) should abstain from the work on 11.3.13 in support of Lawyers of Rajasthan and Chandigarh. The protest should be peaceful and in most dignified way.”

Legally India re-reported yesterday that lawyers in Jaipur were protesting for long-pending housing project and personal allowance demands, while Chandigarh lawyers protested at the Punjab & Haryana high court to  support of 20 advocates against whom a case was registered for allegedly manhandling a police officer.

The government’s law minister Ashwani Kumar stated yesterday ago that over 30 million cases were now pending across courts, with 66,569 pending in the Supreme Court of India.

01 August 2012

BCI talks Exclusive: The Bar Council of India’s (BCI) demonstration on 8 August has been indefinitely postponed because talks were ongoing between the lawyers’ regulator and the government, the Delhi high court was told today, disposing of the writ petition of advocate Anoop Prakash Awasthi against the BCI.

26 July 2012

BCI Bhawan1 Exclusive: The Delhi high court issued notice to the Bar Council of India (BCI) to explain how it would continue with its proposed agitation against the Higher Education and Research (HER) Bill 2011, with the BCI having taken police permission for a Dharna in Jantar Mantar on 8 August.

24 July 2012

Exclusive: Advocate Anoop Prakash Awasthi’s contempt of court petition against several senior members of the Bar Council of India (BCI) and the Delhi bar council will be heard tomorrow by the Delhi high court’s chief justice.

Awasthi claims that the BCI’s nationwide two-day strike against the Higher Education and Research Bill 2011 violated an earlier Supreme Court order restricting lawyers going on strike.

18 July 2012

BCI Bhawan1Exclusive: The Bar Council of India (BCI) and the Human Resources Development (HRD) have continued being at loggerheads over the Higher Education and Research Bill 2011 (HER Bill), which eventually culminated in a two-day strike last week, as recent correspondence from HRD minister Kapil Sibal revealed limited communication between the warring parties.

12 July 2012

Contempt? Exclusive: Advocate Anoop Prakash Awasthi’s writ challenging the Bar Council of India’s (BCI) two-day strike against the Higher Education and Research Bill 2011 was not taken up by the Delhi high court yesterday.

However, Awasthi vowed to bring contempt of court proceedings tomorrow against bar council members for violating an earlier Supreme Court judgment banning two-day strikes by lawyers.