Lawyers in national capital stage sit-in protest for right to agitate

Although the strike was called off in the evening, the litigants had to face inconvenience as all the courts gave the next date of hearing throughout the day.

The judicial work in six district courts in the national capital was affected on Thursday as lawyers took to the streets opposing the suggestion of the Bar Council of India to the Law Commission that there should be a ban on such agitations.

The advocates, later in the day, ended their strike after the Bar Council of India (BCI) reportedly assured them that the recommendation to the law panel would be withdrawn. Around 3,000 lawyers participated in today's sit-in outside the Bar Council of India's office.

Although the strike was called off in the evening, the litigants had to face inconvenience as all the courts gave the next date of hearing throughout the day.

SIT-IN FOR SOME, SIT-OUT FOR SOME

Among many sufferers was a 29-year-old man named Sumit, who had expected for the judge to hear plea for his bail on Thursday. Like Sumit, another 40-year-old litigant Pankaj Kumar had been running around for getting visitation rights to see his daughter.

The litigant's wife allegedly took away their 3-year-old daughter when she was just 5 months old. Due to strike, the arguments in the case could not take place and was given another date.

"The chairman accepted his mistake and assured us he would withdraw the recommendation in this regard. He assured us that on any recommendation against the lawyers' community, he will be with us," the General Secretary of Co-Ordination Committee of All District Court Bar Associations of Delhi, Neeraj, said.

He said that, besides Delhi, the strikes were also observed in various district courts across the country, including National Capital Region, Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu where work remained partially affected. The committee had called the strike saying that the proposed suggestions of the BCI to prohibit advocates from going on strike, boycotting or abstaining from work in courts and imposition of penalty on them, would curtail their democratic rights. However, bar association later felt that the recommendations would curtail the lawyers' democratic rights.

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