Supreme Court has rapped lawyers from three Uttrakhand districts who skipped work on Saturdays - for the last 35 years - to protest for many seemingly unjust that included a blast in a Pakistan school and earthquake in Nepal.
The issue came to the notice of the Supreme Court while it was hearing an appeal against the verdict of the Uttarakhand High Court which had held as "illegal" the strikes or boycotts of court work on all Saturdays by lawyers in Dehradun, Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar.
In its September 25, 2019 verdict, the High Court had referred to the 266th report of the Law Commission, which had analysed data on loss of working days on account of strikes by lawyers and had opined that it affects functioning of courts and contributes to the mounting pendency of cases.
As per information sent by the High Court to the Law Commission with respect to Uttarakhand for 2012-2016, advocates were on strike for 455 days during this period in Dehradun district, followed by 515 days in Haridwar district.
Referring to the Law Commission's report, the High Court had noted that strikes by advocates or their abstinence from courts varied from local, national to international issues, having no relevance to the working of the courts, and were seldom for justifiable reasons.
"To mention a few, bomb blast in a Pakistan school, amendments to Sri Lanka's Constitution, inter-state river water disputes, attack on/murder of an advocate, earthquake in Nepal, condoling the death of near relatives of advocates, expressing solidarity to advocates of other state bar associations, moral support to movements by social activists, heavy rains....and even for kavi-sammelans," the high court had noted in its verdict.