Cal HC lawyers demand more judges, threaten indefinite strike

The Bar Association of Calcutta High Court today threatened to go on an indefinite strike if immediate steps are not taken to appoint judges to fill up vacant posts at the high court, which is at present working at less than half of its sanctioned strength of 72 judges.

Bar Association president Uttam Majumdar said lawyers of the 156-year old high court will go on an indefinite strike if the strength of judges are not increased to 50 at least within a month.

"We have written to the President of India, Chief Justice of India and the Union Law minister seeking immediate steps to fill up the vacant posts of judges," he told reporters here.

Majumdar said that lawyers would wear black badges to protest delay in appointment of judges, which will be followed by sit-in dharnas and half-day strike. If the protests fail, they would go for the indefinite strike.

The first high court in the country now has only 31 judges, of whom three will retire by February and another judge is scheduled to go to Delhi High Court as its chief justice. This will further reduce the working strength of judges at the high court to 27.

The huge number of vacancies is severely affecting justice delivery system, he claimed.

"While the judges are overburdened with pending cases, lawyers and litigants are also facing huge problems owing to delay in hearings and pronouncement of orders," the bar association president said.

According to official data, around 2.22 lakh cases are pending before the Calcutta High Court.

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

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