Delhi High Court lawyers went on strike on Monday,against the courts order to recommend that civil jurisdiction of the lower courts be extended to cases involving sums of up to Rs 2 crore. The strike is likely to continue on Tuesday.
We will continue the strike tomorrow, Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) president A S Chandhiok said on Monday.
DHCBA had called for a strike after the High Court sent the recommendation to expand the pecuniary jurisdiction of the lower courts. Lawyers claimed that the judges had failed to consult the bar association before taking the step of sending the recommendation to the government.
Last week,Delhi High Court Chief Justice D Murugesan had informed a delegation of lawyers practicing in the lower courts that the recommendation in form of a full court reference had been sent to the Centre. District court lawyers have been asking for an increase in pecuniary jurisdiction for over two years.
On Monday,the Delhi High Court wore a deserted look,with some members of the bar association standing at the gates of the court,asking lawyers to join the strike. All bar rooms and the court canteen were closed,and the lawyers observed a token hunger strike. Litigants had been largely informed of the decision,but several who turned up at the court,specially for urgent criminal hearings,ended up pleading their own case before the court,while the less urgent matters were adjourned. Lawyers also wore black ribbons as a mark of protest. Several copies of the DHCBA resolution calling for suspension of work,and copies of the representations made by the lawyers were distributed in the court,and pinned up on various notice boards.
The notice,signed by DHCBA secretary Mohit Mathur,said the association had sent three representations to the court,but their submissions were not heard. Till late Monday evening,Chandhiok said,the lawyers were waiting for a response from the court. It seems that the Chief Justice does not want to speak to us, Chandhiok said.
However,district court lawyers have welcomed the decision. We thank the Chief Justice and his companion judges for the decision, said a press note released by the Coordination Committee of All Bar Associations of Delhi.
Infant,85-year-old sexually assaulted in city
In three separate incidents,an infant,an eight-year-old girl and an 85-year-old woman were sexually assaulted in the city. The first incident was reported from Central Delhis Nabi Karim area,where an eight month old baby girl was allegedly raped by her 21-year-old neighbour on Sunday afternoon. According to the victims mother,the accused,identified as Zahid (24),raped the infant. The victims mother said Zahid asked her if he could take the baby to play with and she agreed. When he did not return for over two hours,the victims mother went to his house to check on them. There she found the baby girl bleeding, a senior police officer said. A case of rape was registered. In a separate incident,an 85-year-old woman was allegedly sexually abused by her 22-year-old grandson. The accused,identified as Naseem reportedly went to his grandmothers house in an inebriated state on Sunday night. He then allegedly attempted to rape his grandmother. The woman,who is bedridden,reportedly started shouting and alerted neighbours. A PCR call was made,following which a case of attempt to murder was registered at Seelampur police station, a senior police officer said. The accused is on the run and the police are investigating the case.