Striking Action Of Lawyers Violate Prisoners' Right To Speedy Trial & Interferes With Administration Of Justice- Allahabad HC
The Allahabad High Court has observed that the striking action of lawyers not only interferes with the administration of justice but also violates prisoners' right to a speedy trial.
Justice Ajay Bhanot noted that the Courts have to pass appropriate orders in accordance with law even when the parties or Counsels are not cooperating with the trial proceedings.
The Court also held Counsels cannot hold the judicial process to ransom by irresponsibly going on strike and bringing the work in Courts to a standstill.
The Bench observed, "The courts in India have consistently set their face against lawyers striking actions. Often accused persons are in jail, and the trial is hampered because of strike actions by lawyers. Striking actions of lawyers not only interfere with the administration of justice but also in such cases cause fragrant violation of the fundamental rights of accused persons-prisoners' right to speedy trial. The comments contain irrefutable evidence that the process of the court was impeded by lawyers abstaining from work on account of strike calls. Counsels cannot hold the judicial process to ransom by irresponsibly going on strike and bringing the work in the court to a stand still."
Further, the Court held, "The process of law has to run its course unimpeded by any such obstructions. The courts have to pass appropriate orders in accordance with law even when the parties or counsels are not cooperating with the trial proceedings. The court proceedings cannot come to a stand still owing to striking lawyers and lethargic litigants."
The Court was adjudicating upon the issue as the Additional Sessions Judge, Allahabad had sent a report to the Court disclosing that the trial could not proceed on a number of occasions as the Counsels were on strike. The report also included the dates on which the trial was impeded on account of strikes of lawyers which were – February 16, March 26, and November 8, 2022.
AGA Paritosh Kumar Malviya appearing for the State submitted before the Court that there are eyewitnesses to the incident.
The Court noted the comments of the Additional Sessions Judge, Allahabad that strike actions were not a one of (even such actions cannot be condoned), but seems to be a regular feature of the concerned Court.
Thus, the Court directed the Chairman, of the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh to appear in person on the next date of listing and explain the steps proposed to be undertaken by the Bar Council to prevent such occurrences in the future and action to be taken in this case.
Further, the Court directed the Trial Judge, Allahabad to forward the names of the concerned office bearers of the Bar Association who had called and enforced the strikes and prevented the counsels as well as the courts from discharging their judicial work.
The Court thus listed the matter on December 20, 2022, as the next date of hearing.
Cause Title – Suraj Passi v. State of U.P.