Ashok Gehlot
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot in a file photo.

Jodhpur lawyers strike over CM Gehlot's 'corruption in judiciary' remark

"Judicial corruption is rampant today," he initially stated. However, later, Gehlot said that he has always respected the judiciary and that his earlier remark did not represent his "personal opinion."

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Lower and high courts in Jodhpur experienced disruptions on Friday (September 1) as lawyers staged a one-day strike in response to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's remark over "judicial corruption."

Gehlot had on Wednesday (August 30) suggested that some judges might be reading out orders drafted by the lawyers. "Corruption is rampant in the judiciary today," he said. However, a day later, Gehlot said he has always respected the judiciary and his statement did not reflect his "personal opinion".

Offended by the statement, lawyers had announced the daylong strike across all courts in Jodhpur, where the main bench of the Rajasthan High Court is located.

President of the Rajasthan High Court Lawyers Association Ravi Bhansali said there are nearly 10,000 advocates in Jodhpur and they all have voluntarily boycotted work.

"The chief minister has made an insulting remark against the judiciary and advocates are not working today as a symbolic protest for a day," he said.

Bhansali said hearings in the court were affected as well because of the boycott.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday in Jaipur, Gehlot said, "Corruption is rampant in the judiciary today. I have heard that some lawyers themselves take the judgement in writing and the same judgement is pronounced." He later backtracked as a former Uttar Pradesh chief justice weighed in, a lawyer filed a plea in the Rajasthan High Court and another sent an application to the state's advocate general for consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Gehlot.

Former Allahabad High Court chief justice Govind Mathur said the chief minister's comment was uncalled for. "It is not only irresponsible but objectionable too."

(With agency inputs)

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