Lawyers’ protest demanding reopening of Courts completes days-88


Jammu, Jan 11: The Agitation of Lawyers practicing in Jammu wing of J&K High Court & the Subordi-nate Courts completed 88 days today. The Lawyers held Dharna in the Janipura Courts Complex. The lawyers Action Committee carrying ahead the agitation since 15 October 2020 in protest against continuation of suspension of normal functioning of High Court & Subor-dinate Courts since March end this year.
Today’s protest Dharna was joined by advocates: JA Kazmi (former vice president), Hari Hartar Singh (former vice president Jammu Bar), H.C. Jalmeria (Convener of Action Committee), ML Gupta, CS Gupta (Former Secretary Jammu Bar), BR Sharma (Former Vice President Jammu Bar), Vinod Abrol, Vijay Sharma, SP Bakshi, Mohd Usman Salaria (former Vice President Jammu Bar), Shah Mod Choudhary, Sabodh Singh Jamwal, JP Sharma, Manohar Gupta, Jugal Kishor Gupta, Navneet Dubey, Khalid Mustfa Bhatti, AK Gand-otra, SC Sharma, Meharban Singh, Kunal Chib, Manohar Lal, Raghubir Singh, Amit Gupta, Narinder Sharma, PK Puri, Mulakh Raj, Rajiv Kumar Sharma, A Hafeez, Sajad Hyder Salati, Abdul Majid, Kamal Kishor, RK Dogra, Mandeep Singh, Rajan Radha, Gagandeep Singh Lucky, SZ Ahmed and others.
The lawyers are angui-shed over repeated extension of restrictions on lawyers and public in High Court and of public in lower courts. It lacks justification now when other fields of human activity including Govt. offices, business, politics and electioneering, marriage gatherings, conducting proceedings of parliament & assemblies, cinema halls, liquor bars, bus and air transport, farmers' protests etc. have become normal since long after lock down. Even some High Courts including Patna, have started physical hearings. The virtual mode offered is no alternative to physical hearings in courts. Even Supreme Court has given observation of its inaptness.
The citizens as well as lawyers are worst affected by the continued suspension of normal functioning of High Court & Subordinate Courts for over nine months. The Judiciary, the most important institution of democratic India, is the protector of the rights of citizens guaranteed by Constitution & other laws. The citizens approach the judiciary seeking protection of their constitutional and statutory rights through lawyers who have the status of officers of courts. In the present situation the lawyers are disabled in performance of their professional duties. Effort to negate lawyers' role in dispensation of justice amounts to denial of these rights, is negation of democracy and constitution and aimed towards dictatorship. The approach to Judiciary should be available to citizens without any hindrance. Shifting of registration work to Revenue from Judicial officers has caused grave haras-sment to public due to delays and lack of transparency. The closure of lawyers' facilities including Bar Halls, Library, Canteens etc. in courts is a brazen attack on the lawyers' independent existence and in discharge of their professional duties. The J&K High Court is unreasonably sitting over the holding of elections to J&K State Bar Council despite Supreme Court Directions. The closure of Consumer Courts since Aug 2019 is denial of justice to the consumers in J&K.
Remedies under Human Rights Act, RTI Act and Accountability Act are no more available. The contempt proceedings initiated against some young lawyers during previous agitation should not be prolonged in view of the continued restri-ctions on entry to courts thereafter by official orders. The concerned judicial and executive authorities should resolve the issues.

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