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No bar can pressure chief justice to change a judge’s list: Supreme Court

Strongly opposing the call for a boycott by the Jaipur Bar Association, the Supreme Court on Monday observed that the Bar Association and lawyers cannot pressure a Chief Justice to change the list of ‘a judge.

The Court stated categorically “we will not tolerate attempts by associations to pressure judges”.

The bench of Judges Mr. Shah and AS Bopanna was hearing his motion in which he issued a contempt notice to members of the bar association office of the Rajasthan High Court Bench of Jaipur for boycotting a single bench of the High Court in connection with the strike.

The bench has also requested the Registrar General of the High Court of Rajasthan in Jaipur to submit a report outlining exactly what happened on September 27, 2021 along with the Bar Association’s resolution to forbear on September 27 2021.

“Dr. Abhinav Sharma represents the current Bar Association and requests time to file a response to point out the true facts of what happened on September 27, 2021. Uploaded November 16, 2021. In the meantime, we ask the Registrar General of the High Court of Rajasthan in Jaipur to submit a report stating exactly what happened on September 27, 2021 along with the Bar Association’s resolution to refrain from working on September 27, 2021. The report should be sent to the no later than November 12” Supreme Court in their order noted.

When the case was called for hearing, Dr Abhinav Sharma, representing the Bar Association of the High Court of Jaipur, argued that there was no strike on September 27, 2021, but that There was some disagreement between the sitting judge and the lawyers due to his refusal to give an emergency. registration for a motion requesting the protection of an attorney.

“There was no strike that day. In fact, there was an attack on a lawyer and a death threat. A request was made to the single judge to list their request to which the judge n disagreed and there was some disagreement. The case was then taken up by the Chief Justice“, said Dr Sharma. The lawyer added that the events had been misreported by the media.

Justice Mr. ShahChairman of the Head Office orally pointed out, “How can lawyers ask for the list of scholarly single judges to be changed. No bar association can pressure the Chief Justice to change the list. The Chief Justice is the master of the list. “

At this point, Bench also expressed his willingness to instruct the Registrar of the High Court of Rajasthan to submit a report stating what exactly happened on September 27, 2021.

“Mr. Lawyer, make sure the lawyers and the bar association can’t force the list to be changed. It’s not your business to tell the Chief Justice to change the list,” Judge Shah further added.

As the Jaipur High Court Bar Association lawyer requested time to file a response to point out the true facts of what happened, Judge Shah remarked,

“It’s nothing more than to intervene in the administration of justice and put pressure on the judge.”

Before adjourning the case to November 16, 2021, Judge Shah also asked Manan Kumar Mishra, President of the Indian Bar Association, to ensure that nothing like this happens in the future.

“Mr. Mishra, please note that nothing like this is happening. The Bar Association cannot compel to change the list and pressure the judge”, said Judge Shah.

The issue concerns the boycott of the Satish Kumar Sharma court by the Jaipur Bar Association. The boycott resolution was passed after the judge reportedly refused to give an urgent list to a petition seeking protection from an attorney. The association demanded that the list be amended to remove the criminal cases from Judge Sharma’s bench.

Supreme Court contempt notice

The Supreme Court has issued the notice of show cause for contempt against the Jaipur Bar Association in the case District Bar Association, Dehradun through its secretary against Ishwar Shandilya & Ors, in which he learned suo motu of the trend of lawyers’ strikes. The bench had previously sought help from the Bar Council of India to resolve the issue.

The Indian Bar Council later told the judiciary that after a meeting with the State Bar Councils, it was proposing to draw up rules to limit lawyers’ strikes and court boycotts and to take action against bars who act in violation and against lawyers who promote such strikes via social networks.

At a later hearing date, the bench said it would adopt a “detailed order” to address this issue. The bench also observed that it is considering establishing a local level grievance mechanism for lawyers so that their legitimate grievances can be addressed through an appropriate platform instead of resorting to strikes. .

On February 28, 2020, the Supreme Court, taking serious note of the fact that despite consistent Court rulings, lawyers/bar associations are going on strike, took notice suo moto and issued notices to the Bar Council of India and all State Bar Councils to suggest the way forward and make concrete suggestions to deal with the issue of strikes/abstentions from work by lawyers.

The Court’s suo motu action came in dismissing an appeal filed by the Dehradun District Bar Association against a Uttarakhand High Court judgment that declared the lawyers’ strikes illegal.

Case Title: District Bar Association v Ishwar Shandilya and Ors | MA 859/2020 in SLP(C) 5440/2020

Reference: LL 2021 SC 593

Click here to read/download the order