Lawyers in Rajasthan are abstaining from work today in protest against the remark by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday about alleged corruption in the judiciary. In the meantime, the Chief Minister has backtracked from his remarks after seeing the reaction from the Lawyers.

Ashok Gehlot, while interacting with the media, had said, “Today, massive corruption is taking place in the Judiciary. I have heard that many lawyers give the judgment in writing and that is the judgement which is pronounced. What is this happening inside the Judiciary? Be it lower judiciary or upper. Things are serious. Countrymen should think.”

Speaking to the reporters, the Chief Minister also said that he has never intervened in the judiciary and government agencies. “I never intervened in the judiciary, RPSC (Rajasthan Public Service Commission), ACB (Anti Corruption Bureau) in my life,” he had said.

In response to the remark of the Chief Minister, the Rajasthan High Court Bar Association (RHCBA) has declared that the lawyers of the Rajasthan High Court, Jaipur Bench, will voluntarily abstain from work today.

“In view of the irresponsible, malicious, derogatory, defamatory and sweeping statement made by the Chief Minister of Rajasthan on 30.08.2023 against the entire judiciary as well as legal fraternity, the Rajasthan High Court Bar Association highly condemns the same and declares that the lawyers of Rajasthan High Court Jaipur bench shall voluntarily abstain from work on 01.09.2023.” read the notice issued by Advocates Mahendra Shandilya, President and Balram Vashisth, General Secretary of RHCBA.

In the Jodhpur Bench of the Rajasthan High Court, the Rajasthan High Court Lawyers' Association through its President Ravi Bhansali and General Secretary Sunil Joshi has written a letter to the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court calling for suo moto initiation of contempt of court proceedings against the Chief Minister for his remarks. The Association has also called for an apology from the Chief Minister for his remarks. The Chief Justice has been informed that in condemnation and protest against the remarks of the CM, the Lawyers of the High Court and the other Courts will voluntarily abstain from work today.

After the backlash against his remarks, Ashok Gehlot backtracked and put out a tweet stating, “What I said yesterday regarding corruption in the judiciary is not my personal opinion. I have always respected and trusted the judiciary. From time to time, many retired Supreme Court judges and even retired Chief Justices have commented on corruption in the Judiciary and expressed concern over it. I have so much faith in the judiciary that I have never made any adverse comment even on the names of the High Court Collegium that come to us for comments for the appointment of judges as Chief Minister. I clearly believe that every citizen should respect and trust the judiciary. This will strengthen democracy.”

However, the Advocates are continuing with their protests despite the Chief Minister's above statement.