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The Calcutta High Court’s Justice Rajasekhar Mantha initiated contempt proceedings against a group of unnamed lawyers on Tuesday for “obstructing delivery of justice” in his courtroom the previous day, ostensibly in protest of an order granting “blanket protection” from arrest to BJP’s Nandigram MLA Suvendu Adhikari.

As the impasse carried on, a general body meeting of the bar organisation decided to abstain from all hearings in Justice Mantha’s court for the sake of “maintaining peace in HC”.

While hearing a petition seeking action against lawyers for the manner of their campaign against Justice Mantha, Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava expressed his outrage at the events. “Was the boycott really necessary? Is it possible for someone to boycott the court? “He consulted lawyers.

Citing CCTV evidence of lawyers keeping him out of courtroom 13 on Monday, Chief Justice Mantha termed their behaviour “interference with the administration of justice and egregious indiscipline”. He sent all records, including the video footage, to Chief Justice Shrivastava, requesting that he determine whether the demonstrators may be charged under the Criminal Procedure Code. Justice Mantha also summoned the officer-in-charge of the high court police station and asked him to increase security to guarantee that no plaintiff or lawyer was denied entry to his courtroom. The police force was increased from two to eight officers.

On Monday, protesting lawyers barricaded the doors of courtroom 13 to prevent colleagues who wanted to attend proceedings from entering. The decision of the bar association to withdraw from proceedings in Justice Mantha’s court, followed by an appeal to the judge not to issue orders relating to current cases. Some members objected to the change.

Dilip Ghosh, national vice president of the BJP, claimed that what happened in the HC was yet another instance of the TMC allegedly attempting to browbeat the judges.

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Source

  1. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com
  2. https://www.indiatv.in

By Brijpal Singh

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