Commenting on the ongoing lawyers’ strike in various districts demanding setting up of High Court benches, Justice Ramesh Dhanuka of the Bombay High Court said Saturday it was illegal for advocates to abstain from work to press for their demands.
Speaking on the “Art of Advocacy and the Professional Ethics” at Bharati Vidyapeeth’s New Law College, Dhanuka said: “To demand for setting up of a circuit bench, lawyers in six districts have been abstaining from work for the last 40 days. This obviously has affected the working of the courts and common litigants are bearing the brunt. It is illegal for the lawyers to abstain from work in such a way and there are Supreme Court judgments against such strikes.”
Dhanuka added that if lawyers had any complaint against a certain judge, they should take the complaint to the chief justice instead of going on strike.
“If the chief judge finds that there is some substance in the complaint, he can take appropriate action... There are several examples of judges being suspended due to such complaints,” said Dhanuka.
The six bar associations on strike include Kolhapur, Satara, Sangli, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Solapur. The Pune Bar Council (PBA) had also staged a two-day strike in August to press for the demand.
Dhanuka said while lawyers should keep in mind that their primary aim should be to serve the people and not to earn money. “You should only take up a case of a litigant if you are sure that you will fight it out till the end. Also, there’s a trend among the young lawyers to charge exorbitant fees since the senior lawyers do it. This is not good. The young lawyers should try to provide their services to the needy litigants even if they could not pay them any fee,” said Dhanuka.
Principal of New Law College Mukund Sarda and Harvard University Professor Henry Steiner were also present on the occasion.