The judicial proceedings in various courts across the country was paralysed today as lawyers, responding to the Bar Council of India’s call to protest against the Government’s Higher Education and Research (HER) Bill, struck work and refused to appear in courts.

Besides the subordinate judiciary, the judicial works took a severe beating also in high courts in the State Capitals and various other judicial and quasi-judicial bodies like Central Administrative Tribunals , said reports from various cities across the country, including Mumbai, Allahabad, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai.

Higher Education and Research Bill

The BCI had given the two-days’ protest call against the HER Bill, accusing the Government of trying to usurp the power of advocates’ apex statutory body to regulate the legal education and profession in the country.

A report from New Delhi said lawyers in all the six district court complexes of the Capital, including the Asia’s largest bar association at Tis Hazari Court, boycotted the court proceedings and only the proxy counsel appeared in courts to get the next date of hearing in their cases.

Extending their support to the BCI’s call, the New Delhi Bar Association President, Mr Rajiv Rai, said, “As its BCI’s call to abstain from work, so all the lawyers are supporting it. As of now we are on strike even tomorrow.”

Due to lawyers’ strike in Delhi, the trial of various high profile cases, including that of the 2G spectrum allocation case involving former Telecom Minister Mr A. Raja and others, going on a day-to-day basis, were affected and had to be adjourned along with tens of thousands of other cases.

An Allahabad report said the judicial work was paralysed at the High Court as well as various tribunals and subordinate courts with the lawyers gathering at the gates of various courts, raising vociferous slogans against the HER Bill and its alleged motives to undermine the BCI authority.

Even as the litigants coming to the courts from distant villages complained of inconveniences caused to them due to the lawyers’ strike, the Allahabad district bar association said it would continue with the strike till Friday. The BCI had given the call for strike on Wednesday and Thursday.