The Supreme Court recently, while dealing with a Special Leave Petition, expressed its dissatisfaction with the Rajasthan High Court Bar Association for deciding to abstain from Court work, leaving the High Court without the necessary assistance for handling judicial matters. Consequently, the Court directed the inclusion of the Bar Association and the Bar Council of India as respondents and issued notice in the matter.

The Bench of Justice Abhay S. Oka and Justice Pankaj Mithal observed, "It is unfortunate that High Court Bar Association at Rajasthan resolved to abstain from the court work and, therefore, the Court could not get assistance." The Bench further ordered, "Considering the conduct of the Bar Association, we direct the petitioner to implead the concerned Bar Association of Advocates practicing at Jaipur Bench of the Rajasthan High Court as well as the Bar Council of India as party respondent Nos. 3 and 4 respectively."

The challenged order of the High Court stated, "Counsel for the parties have not marked their presence before the Court as apparently they are abstaining from work pursuant to the call given by the office bearers of the Bar Association. Such non-appearance is clearly illegal and in breach of the order passed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of "Ex-Captain Harish Uppal Vs. Union of India & Anr". Accordingly, the High Court allowed the application filed under Order 22 Rule 10 CPC for the reasons stated therein.

Considering the submissions made, the Apex Court stated that the impugned order had been passed by the High Court without hearing the parties and stayed stay of the operation of the impugned order. However, the Bench expressed its dismay and called the situation 'unfortunate'.

The Court has sought responses from the Bar Association and the Bar Council of India and scheduled the matter for consideration on November 3, 2023.

Recently, the Allahabad High Court while dealing with the matter concerning violence against Advocates in Hapur, voiced criticism of the approach of the Advocates and the Bar Councils/Associations in resorting to strike and abstaining from work. The Court expressed hope that the Advocates will introspect and act in due deference to the law as declared by the Supreme Court. The Court also expressed hope that it will not have to resort to any unpleasant measures in the matter.

Similarly, the other Bench of the Allahabad High Court reiterated its stance and criticized the approach of the Lawyers in resorting to strike and abstaining from work, and expressed worry over simply passing over the cases. The Court stated that it would add burden to this Court and it would not be possible to cope with the situation as the list of fresh cases is getting lengthy day-by-day.

Cause Title: M/S Rajasthan Medical Service Corporation v. M/S Shivek Labs Limited & Anr [Diary No(s). 24534/2023]

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