On the 13th day of the ongoing indefinite strike, the Pune Bar Association (PBA) on Wednesday received a letter from the Chief Justice Bombay High Court who said he was ready to meet them and hear out their demands if they call off the strike.
The lawyers, however, rejected the offer saying he should meet them first and the state government should resolve the High Court circuit bench issue before they end the strike.
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Meanwhile, all legal work at the Shivajinagar District and Sessions Court remained suspended for 13th day. All taluka bar associations too are supporting the strike with their members abstaining from work. Lawyers in the district have also boycotted legal activities such as Lok Adalats, mediation centres and mobile courts.
“The association received a letter from the Chief Justice Mohit Shah, who pointed out that the due to the strike, litigants were suffering and the process of law too was halted. He urged the lawyers to end the strike and promised them that he would meet them if they want so. The lawyers, however, humbly refused the offer submitting that they needed an assurance from the state government and that they did not have any bone to pick with the Chief Justice. They also requested him to advance the July 7 appointment given by him to the lawyers,” said advocate Milind Pawar, former PBA chief.
Also, on Sunday, a delegation of PBA, including its president Girish Shedge and deputy president Yogesh Pawar travelled to Mumbai to meet Governor C Vidyasagar Rao.
“We had received a call from Governor’s office, inviting us to talk to him over the issue of strike. We had a positive chat with him. We are hopeful that some breakthrough will soon be reached,” said Shedge.
Man attempts suicide near protest site
A 36-year-old government servant tried to commit suicide outside the Gate No 4 of Shivajinagar District Court, close to the site where protesting lawyers have put up a pandal. The man, identified by the police as Gurudatt Ghodke, a resident of Shaniwar Peth, has been booked under Section 309 of Indian Penal Code.
Two differing versions came out on the incident. Some lawyers said the man shouted slogans demanding a bench of the HC in Pune. “He shouted that he had four cases pending in the HC and that he could not travel to Mumbai every other day as it was taking a toll on his finances. He then poured kerosene on his body and was threatening to set himself afire. Lawyers and policemen present on the site overpowered him,” said advocate Tausif Shaikh of Advocacy Association, a group of lawyers supporting the strike.
Shivajinagar Police, however, said their probe and interrogation of the man did not reveal any link to the HC demand. “He seems to be troubled by some family dispute and hence he tried to take the extreme step,” said a police officer.