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SCBA not to follow BCI call for strike over Allahabad lawyer cop killing but to don white ribbons

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) announced that it would lodge its protest against last week’s alleged killing by a policeman of a lawyer on Allahabad court premises by wearing white ribbons, but would not be going on the national strike called by the Bar Council of India (BCI).

“We are not defying [the BCI],” said SCBA president Dushyant Dave in a message. “We have been expressly exempted [by the BCI] from the strike.”

In the notice dated 14 March 2015, the SCBA stated that it had decided in its meeting on Friday, 13 March, that:

“SCBA members will not abstain from wok on Monday 16th March 2015, however we will lodge our protest by putting a white ribbon on our coats on Monday.”

The resolution also included a condemnation of the incident, noting:

with deep anguish and sadness, the brutal, unprovoked and cold blooded murder of Mr. Nabi Hassan, a young and aspiring Lawyer. Supreme Court Bar Association believes that this is the most direct and harsh attack on Independence of Judiciary and Freedom of the Bar and its Members, and therefore, strongly condemns the incident.

The SCBA called on the executive and judiciary to take “strong and effective immediate measures” to bring justice to the victim’s family and prevent repetition of such incidents, and offered its “total support to the family for all such assistance as may be needed in future”.

A video of the incident in an Allahabad district court appeared to show a chaotic scene in which the police officer allegedly pulled out his weapon and shot Ahmad dead.

Meanwhile, according to the Asian Age, a Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) HL Dattu and Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya on Friday (13 March) declined to pass an order banning another strike called by the Orissa Bar Association, saying:

This court has already given a judgment and laid down the procedure to be followed for calling a strike. It is for the Bar Council of India to take some measures. We can’t be giving directions. Litigants can always appear in the court in person if lawyers are unable to appear in court because of strike.

The Supreme Court’s 2002 constitution bench decision they relied on, curtailed the circumstances that lawyers could go on strikes to very narrow circumstances.

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