5-day cease work by Cal HC lawyers begin

A five-day ceasework by lawyers of the Calcutta High Court began today to press for appointment to vacant posts of judges in the court where the working strength has dwindled to 30 against a sanctioned strength of 72.

The corridors of the sprawling high court building bore a deserted look as the lawyers stayed away even as the judges sat in the court in the morning.

Petitions were called for hearing in the almost vacant court rooms, but with no lawyer appearing for any of the parties the judges later rose to go to their chambers.

Some litigants, who had not got information regarding the strike, came to the court in the morning as their petitions were scheduled for hearing today.

Finding that the lawyers were not attending court, the litigants, many of whom had come from distant districts, went back.

Out of the present strength of 30 sitting judges, two judges on rotation are permanently at the Andaman and Nicobar Circuit Bench of the high court.

"The High Court Bar Association has taken a resolution to go for the five-day strike from February 19 to 23 as several communications to the Centre and other forms of agitation like sit-in demonstration and rallies could not secure appointment of judges to the high court," association president Uttam Majumdar said.

"We have faxed copies of the resolution for the five-day strike demanding immediate filling up of vacant posts of judges to the President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and the Union Law Minister," Majumdar said.

The bar association has also demanded immediate appointment of a permanent chief justice to the high court, which has been functioning with acting chief justices for a long time.

He claimed that the cease work was totally successful owing to the empathy of both the lawyers and litigants for the cause and that attempts from some quarters to sabotage the agitation have failed miserably.

The Trinamool Congress Legal Cell had earlier said that it was opposed to any strike as it would lead to more delay for the litigants and also affect lawyers as well as the judiciary.

There were 2,22,648 cases pending before the Calcutta High Court as on December 31, 2017, according to the available official data.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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