The Supreme Court Bench consisting of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice M R Shah held that the lawyer’s strikes that boycott courts are illegal and in no way could be justified under the colour of the right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Art. 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India.
The Court observed that no one has the right to go on strikes or of boycotting the Courts. They further also noted that no right can affect the right of others to Speedy Justice provided for under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
In the present case, the Court was considering an appeal filed by the District Bar Association in Dehradun against a judgement delivered by the High Court of Uttarakhand which had held such strikes to be illegal. The primary contention made by the Association was that strikes are a mode of peaceful representations to express dissatisfaction by the lawyer’s community.
However, the Supreme court rejected this submission stating that the advocates are using their right to protest in an unfair manner and going on frequent strikes on some or the other pretext. They also observed the frequency of the continuation of such strikes in spite of various warnings. They also emphasized the need for the Bar Council of India and the Bar Councils of the State in ensuring that there is no unprofessional conduct by any lawyer. They also issued notices to the Bar Councils to make concrete suggestions to deal with this problem.
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Link for the Judgement: District Bar Association, Dehradun v. Ishwar Shandilya