Eleven lawyers were detained by Gotri police here for protesting against the lack of seating arrangements for them in the district court complex, even as the foundation stone for a new advocates’ building was laid by Acting Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court A S Dave on Sunday. They were released later in the day.
The protest has been going on for over a year, gaining momentum in the last 20 days with bar associations from across the state extending support to them.
It started with an indefinite hunger strike soon after the inauguration of the district court complex, largest in Asia, in March last year. This had gone on for almost a month. Finally, as a temporary solution, the lawyers were accommodated inside the bar library, while most of them took to floors with mats as a mark of protest.
During the inauguration of the district court complex, the then Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court R Subhash Reddy, currently a Justice in the Supreme Court, had announced the construction of a separate building for the advocates, but the lawyers said that it took one year just to lay a foundation stone.
“It took them over a year to lay the foundation stone for the new building. We do not know how long will it take now to construct the building. Our protest is still on. It has a been a year that the lawyers have been adjusting with the seating arrangements now,” Joint Secretary of the Baroda Bar Association, Ritesh Thakkar, said.
The members of the bar association had resorted to unique protests, organising bhajan events, ramdhun, gate blockade etc over the last twenty days. As a result on Friday, 12 additional rooms were allotted to the advocates as a temporary seating arrangement, but that did not cease the protests.