As advocates in Delhi High Court and all district courts called for abstention from work for the third consecutive day, senior members of the bar called for restraint and appealed to lawyers to call off the strike.
“Violence never leads to anything good. The Supreme Court has already laid down the law that lawyers’ strike and suspension of the court is illegal,” retired Supreme Court judge Abhay Manohar Sapre said.
In 2003, a three-judge bench ruling of the Supreme Court had said that lawyers have no right to go on strike or give a call for boycott, not even on a token strike.
“The protest, if any is required, can only be by giving press statements, TV interviews, carrying out of court premises banners and/or placards, wearing black or white or any colour arm bands, peaceful protest marches outside and away from court premises, going on dharnas or relay fasts, etc,” the court had said.
In October, the Delhi High Court had also observed that lawyers must refuse to abide by calls of strike.
Former additional solicitor general Siddharth Luthra appealed to lawyers to end the strike immediately. “It is time for the legal community, who are upholders of law, to end the strike immediately and pursue remedies by all legal means posssible,” he said.
“The issue is under judicial scrutiny and those who believe in the rule of law must eschew extra legal methods,” Luthra said.
Senior advocate and former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Vikas Singh, condemned the violence and call for strike by lawyers, although he added that “the initial provocation seems to be done by the police”.
“But I do not approve of what happened thereafter. It is simply snowballing out of control now. As a member of the Bar, lawyers cannot take law in their hands,” he said.
“Lawyers as a class have no special immunity and the police deserve respect. The entire police force cannot be blamed but sometimes there are excesses and that’s where the courts intervene,” he added.