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26 Judges of Punjab and Haryana High Court go on leave

By Our Special Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, APRIL 19. The Punjab and Haryana High Court was plunged into a `crisis' today with 26 out of 28 Judges proceeding on leave to protest against the Chief Justice, B.K. Roy's `notices' to two sitting Judges regarding their "honorary" membership of a club.

The Joint Registrar (Judicial), M.M.S. Bedi, confirmed tonight that while 21 Judges had gone on five days' leave from today, three had taken one-day leave, one had taken two days' leave and another had gone on leave to go abroad. No reason had been cited by all but one of the Judges for their action.

Our Staff Correspondent reports:

The functioning of the court came to a standstill when the Judges sent in their requests for casual leave this morning. A two-member team of senior Supreme Court Judges, deputed by the Chief Justice of India, is said to have arrived here to resolve the issue.

Taking a serious view of the development, the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association, at its two-hour-long meeting this afternoon, criticised the decision of the Judges' to go on leave en masse.

A two-point resolution passed by it requested the President and the Chief Justice of India to intervene in this matter.

The meeting was chaired by the association president, Anmol Rattan Singh Sidhu.

This is the second time within six months when differences between the Chief Justice and other Judges of the High Court have found expression in the open.

In December last, as many as 21 Judges of the High Court were reported to have written to the CJI, complaining against Mr. Justice Roy and had refused to undertake any administrative work of the lower courts assigned to them.

To resume work

The Judges at the Punjab and Haryana High Court, who have gone on leave, are set to return to work tomorrow. This follows the intervention of some senior Judges of the Supreme Court, who have assured them of an amicable solution to the irritants that might have come to affect the normal functioning of the Court. — UNI

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