Lawyers cannot go on strike or abstain from work, said a Supreme Court bench on Thursday (April 20) and directed all high courts to form a grievance redressal committee at the state level headed by the chief justice, where advocates could seek redressal of “genuine problems”.
A bench headed by Justices MR Shah and Ahsanuddin Amanullah said that separate grievance redressal committees must be constituted at district court level to provide a forum, where lawyers could go to address their genuine grievances related to procedural changes in filing or listing of cases or misbehavior of a lower judiciary member.
The bench said that they once again reiterate that no member of the bar can go on strike…”Time and again this court has emphasised that advocates going on strike or abstaining from their work hampers judicial work,” observed the bench.
The court disposed of an application filed by district bar association of Dehradun seeking an appropriate forum for redressal of their complaints. Also, it directed the registry to send the copy of this order to the registrar general of all high courts for taking steps in accordance with the order.
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Justice Shah, who pronounced the order, said if members of bar have some genuine grievance or face difficulty because of the procedural changes in filing and listing of matters or any genuine grievance pertaining to the misbehavior of member of the lower judiciary, they can very well make a representation for redressal of genuine grievance by some forum, so that such strikes could be avoided.
It said the forum should be a place where members of the bar can ventilate their grievances.
“Therefore, we request all high courts to constitute a grievance redressal committee in their respective high courts which may be headed by the chief justice and such a grievance redressal committee should consist of two other senior judges, one each from the judicial services and one from the bar, to be nominated by the chief justice as well as the advocate general of the state, chairman of the bar council of the state and the president of the high court bar association”, it said.
The bench said the high courts may also constitute a similar grievance redressal committee at the district court level.
“It is observed that the grievance redressal committee will consider the genuine grievances related to difference of opinion or dissatisfaction due to procedural changes in filing and listing of the matter in respective high courts or any district courts in their respective states and any genuine grievance pertaining to misbehavior of any member of lower judiciary provided such grievance must be genuine and not to put any pressure on any judicial officer”, the bench said.