The Bombay High Court on Friday pulled up members the Pune Bar Association (PBA) for staging an indefinite strike which has now
stretched for 15 days and termed it “illegal”.
Hearing a writ petition filed by city-based activist Manoj Oswal, a bench comprising justices Abhay Oka and Revati Mohite-Dhere cited
the Supreme Court judgments to rule that the lawyers’ strike was “illegal” and directed the police to provide protection to the lawyers who
want to attend to court work. It also directed the PBA to hold a meeting and decide on the future of the strike.
Oswal, an animal rights activist, had filed a writ petition with the Bombay HC requesting the judges to initiate action against striking PBA
lawyers. He had also prayed that lawyers willing to attend court should be provided protection by police.
“Supreme Court has said on multiple occasions that lawyers cannot strike. For their personal interests, they cannot jeopardize the interest
of litigants… This illegal strike has caused denial of bail or other urgent relief to hundreds of people,” argued Oswal in his petition.
The bench directed the PBA to refrain from taking any coercive action against lawyers who want to work. The bench also sought a list of
all the officer-bearers of the PBA.
The PBA president submitted to the court that he could not decide on continuation or suspension of the strike as the decision to go on a
strike was taken by the working committee members of the PBA. The bench then directed the PBA to summon a meeting on Saturday.
“We will summon a meeting on 5 pm on Saturday and then decide the future strategy,” said a PBA member.