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Advocates in Chennai, Madurai abstain from courts, tribunals

Special Correspondent

To highlight hardship faced by lawyers, public while producing sureties on basis of Madurai Bench’s orders

— Photo: R. Ragu

Airing THEIR GRIEVANCE: Members of the Madras High Court Advocates Association staging a demonstration on the High Court premises in Chennai on Tuesday.

CHENNAI: Advocates abstained from courts and tribunals on Tuesday, following a call by the Madras High Court Advocates Association to highlight the hardships faced by lawyers and the public while producing sureties on the basis of the orders of the Madurai Bench of the court.

The court had directed the accused to execute bail bonds to the satisfaction of police officers, instead of Judicial Magistrates.

The association also opposed the notification directing advocates to file affidavits of the persons convicted who were in jail, attested by jail authorities, for moving suspension of sentence while filing criminal appeals.

In a statement here, the Women Lawyers’ Association said its members also decided to abstain from courts.

In a representation to the Chief Justice, the Tamil Nadu Advocates Association president S. Prabakaran said that the Cr.P.C. gave powers only to the court regarding sureties, except in the case of release on bail of the accused by the police. In case the accused were called upon to appear before police officers, it would not only harass them but also increase the conflict between the police and advocates. The association requested the Chief Justice to intervene in the matter by issuing necessary instructions.

High drama in Madurai Bench

Madurai Special Correspondent writes:

The Madras High Court Bench here witnessed high drama on Tuesday as some members of the District Court Bar Association attended the court proceedings to counter the boycott announced by the High Court Bar Associations. The District Court lawyers were agitated that the High Court lawyers did not participate in the Statewide boycott by the Federation of District and Subordinate Courts Bar Associations of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry on Monday.

On Tuesday, all 12 judges in the Bench retired to their chambers within an hour of the day’s proceedings as the High Court lawyers did not turn up to argue cases.

Around 11.20 a.m., lower court lawyers insisted on attending courts. They raised slogans against the judges in the court corridors and threatened to complain to the Chief Justice of India if they did not rise to their seat.

The lawyers relented after Justice P. Murgesen heard one of their cases and adjourned it by a week.

Madurai Bar Association (MBA) secretary A. K. Ramasamy said that his association decided to give up the boycott pursuant to an appeal made by Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya, seniormost judge in the High Court, on Monday.

The court boycotts were called against three High Court orders, including notices issued to various Bar Associations here to reply to a fake case that the petitioner herself denied to have filed before the Bench.

When the fake case came up for hearing on Monday, Justice K. Chandru refused to permit Mr. Ramasamy to make his submissions on behalf of MBA as his association was part of a Statewide boycott against judicial orders.

“This court is not ready to hear you under the threat of direct action. Don’t think you can go on strike and the court has to hear you,” he said and ordered withdrawal of the notice issued to MBA alone.

Agitated over this, the lower court lawyers resorted to sloganeering against the judge and banged the doors of his court hall with their boots. The watch and ward staff had a tough time preventing the lawyers from entering the court hall. The Judge continued to hear other lawyers, who insisted on dropping the proceedings in the fake case, as well as the Additional Advocate-General over the issue, and reserved his verdict in the case without mentioning a date.

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