STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: The ongoing agitation of Lawyers practicing in Jammu wing of J&K High Court and Subordinate Courts completed 68 days on Tuesday. The lawyers held Dharna in Janipur Courts complex, which was attended by a number of eminent and young lawyers.Pertinent to mention here that Lawyers Action Committee is carrying ahead the agitation since October 15, 2020 in protest against continued closure of their entry into High Court completely and partially in Subordinate Courts besides no entry of public since March 2020 and few other issues.The 8-point demand charter of lawyers included, opening of all courts for physical entry to lawyers and public, resume physical hearing, accepting hard copies of cases, opening locked Bar Rooms of lawyers, providing stamp papers and tickets within court premises through stamp vendors, immediate opening of Consumer Courts, shifting back Registry of Documents to Judicial Officers, withdrawing contempt initiated against some lawyers and Holding immediate election to the J&K Bar Council.The protest was attended by advocates J A Kazmi (former vice president), H C Jalmeria Convener of Action Committee, C S Gupta (Former Secretary Jammu Bar), B R Sharma (Former Vice President Jammu Bar), Vijay Sharma, S S Chib, Shah Mohd Choudhary, J P Sharma, Subodh Singh Jamwal, Manohar Gupta, Sandeep Gupta, A K Gandotra, K S Parihar, Meharban Singh, Ashok Basotra, K S Chib, Surjit Singh Andotra, Kamal Kishore, Dinesh S Jamwal, Manohar Lal, B K Kaw, Satish Sharma, Amit Gupta, Mulkh Raj, Harish Kaila, S Z Ahmed, Jatinder Singh, Rajiv Kumar, Atul Raina, Muzaffar Ali Shah, Rakmesh Parihar Mohd Azam, Irtiza M Slaria, Arvind, Muzaffar Ali Shah, Shubham Jain, R C Sharma and Harmit Sharma.Speaking on the occasion, the lawyers said that citizens as well as lawyers are worst affected by closure of their entry into 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 and other laws. Whenever citizens find aggrieved of their constitutional or statutory rights, they approach the judiciary seeking protection through lawyers who have the status of officers of courts.The role of lawyers is sine qua non in justice delivery system. Effort to negate lawyer’s role in dispensation of justice is negation of democracy and constitution and is aimed for dictatorship, needs to be resisted. The approach to Judiciary should be available to citizens without any hindrance. Continued restrictions of entry of lawyers and public into courts amounts to denial of the rights guaranteed by Constitution. It lacks justification now when other fields of human activity including Govt. offices, business, politics and electioneering, marriage gatherings, conducting proceedings of parliament and assemblies, cinema halls, liquor bars, bus and air transport, farmers’ protests etc are going on since long after lock down. The virtual mode offered is no alternative to physical hearings in courts. Shifting of registration work to Revenue from Judicial officers has caused grave harassment to public due to delays and crept in unfairness. The closure of lawyers’ facilities including Bar Halls, 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 denying justice to the consumers in J&K. Remedies under Human Rights Act, RTI Act and Accountability Act are no more available.The contempt proceeding initiated against some young lawyers during previous agitation should not be prolonged in view of the continued closure of courts thereafter by official orders. The Govt. and Judicial authorities should immediately resolve the issues, they demanded.
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