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Allahabad High Court frames contempt charges against Kanpur Bar leaders, Kanpur Bar Assn president says "Willing to go to jail [Read Order]

By LawStreet News Network      11 April, 2023 02:10 AM      0 Comments
Allahabad High Court frames contempt charges against Kanpur Bar leaders, Kanpur Bar Assn president says

Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court has framed charges against Bar leaders of Kanpur for contempt of court over their "deliberate and wilful contempt" for their failure to call off ongoing strike in district court since March 16.

"We find that the noticees and office bearers prima facie, are in deliberate and wilful contempt of this Court by interfering in the administration of justice, calling illegal strike since 16.3.2023 and thereby paralysing the judicial work in the district judgeship at Kanpur Nagar and they have made themselves liable to face contempt proceedings," a seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker said.

In an order passed on April 7, the bench said by using abusive unparliamentary language and outrageous behaviour during the strike period in district court, Kanpur Nagar, scandalised and lowered the authority of the court and undermined the sanctity of the Institution and the dignity of the entire district judiciary, have committed the contempt of Court.

The other judges in the bench were Justices Sunita Agarwal, Surya Prakash Kesarwani, Manoj Kumar Gupta, Anjani Kumar Mishra, Dr Kaushal Jayendra Thaker, and Mahesh Chandra Tripathi.

The court ordered for registration of the proceedings of contempt as a separate case for hearing before another bench.

Those against whom charges were framed included Naresh Chandra Tripathi, President, Kanpur Bar Association, Anurag Srivastava, General Secretary, Kanpur Bar Association, Sharad Kumar Shukla, General Secretary, the Lawyers’ Association Kanpur Nagar and Sarvesh Yadav, Vice President, the Lawyers’ Association, Kanpur Nagar (in the capacity of President, the Lawyers’ Association, Kanpur Nagar) and other office bearers present in the Court, namely, Anoop Kumar Shukla, Vice President, Kanpur Bar Association and Ajay Pratap Singh Chauhan, Secretary, Kanpur Bar Association.

"By your conduct and statements, (they) have wilfully and deliberately committed the contempt of the order dated 6.4.2023 of this Court, by restraining the lawyers from performing the judicial work in the district Court at Kanpur Nagar, affixing a hand written notice dated 6.4.2023 reiterating the resolution dated 25.3.2023 for an indefinite strike, and threatening the lawyers with adverse consequences in case any of them attends court proceedings," the court noted.

During the hearing, President, Kanpur Bar Association Tripathi, when asked as to why strike has not been called off, the excuse taken by him is that the strike was not declared by him but by the general body of the Association, the court noted.

He also admitted that he received the notice issued by this court yesterday at 12:50 pm, but did not make any effort to call the general house and only claims to have held a meeting of the office bearers, who decided to continue with the strike. He further submitted that he had never stopped any one from entering into the Court premises and it is the lawyers, who of their own, are not appearing before the Court.

"When certain further questions were put to the President regarding his conduct and the conduct of the lawyers on strike, he submits that he is willing to go to jail," the court noted.

His views have been duly endorsed and supported by the other office bearers present in the Court along with the President, Kanpur Bar Association," it further pointed out.

The Chairman, Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh, present in the Court, has categorically stated that he is not supporting the call of strike by the Kanpur Bar Association and appropriate disciplinary proceedings would be initiated against those who are actively involved in the strike. He submits that some time be given to him to call a meeting and to inform this Court about the decision taken by the Bar Council, Uttar Pradesh.

[Read Order] 

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