The Allahabad High Court has framed contempt charges against lawyers of the Kanpur Bar Association and the Lawyers Association for continuing with their strike despite the Court’s order to call it off. The strike, which began on March 25, has caused a complete shutdown of judicial work in Kanpur, leading to the Court’s observation that the lawyers have interfered with the administration of justice, undermined the sanctity of the institution, and lowered the authority of the Court.
The Court had previously warned the striking lawyers that it would initiate contempt proceedings against them if they failed to resume judicial work, but the lawyers did not comply with the Court’s order. The Court also noted that the striking lawyers indulged in abusive and derogatory language against the entire district judiciary, which was recorded on a video, making them liable for contempt of court.
The strike was initially called after a district judge allegedly misbehaved with lawyers, and the two associations had given assurances to the Court that they would call off the strike and resume work. However, they failed to fulfill their promise, leading to the Court’s suo motu action against them.
The Court has ordered the initiation of contempt proceedings against Naresh Chandra Tripathi, President of the Kanpur Bar Association; Anurag Srivastava, General Secretary of the Kanpur Bar Association; Sharad Kumar Shukla, General Secretary of the Lawyers’ Association, Kanpur Nagar; Sarvesh Yadav, Vice President of the Lawyers’ Association, Kanpur Nagar; Anoop Kumar Shukla, Vice President of the Kanpur Bar Association; and Ajay Pratap Singh Chauhan, Secretary of the Kanpur Bar Association.
The Court’s decision to initiate contempt proceedings against the striking lawyers sends a strong message to legal professionals to respect the institution of the judiciary and its orders. The judiciary is an essential pillar of democracy, and any attempts to undermine its authority must be dealt with firmly. It is essential for lawyers to understand that their actions have far-reaching consequences, and they must act responsibly to ensure the smooth functioning of the judicial system.
The Court thus took up the matter suo motu and directed the lawyers to be present personally before the Court on April 7.