Supreme court of India has held, in its various judgment, that strike of work by lawyers is illegal. No Bar Council or Bar Association can call for strike and if it does, disobedience shall not be misconduct. Further client can claim compensation from lawyer if he suffers due to strike. It appears that this rule do not apply to Lawyers after they become judge.
STRIKE by JUDGES!
This is about Punjab & Haryana High Court In India. On 19.11.2004 it was reported by The Hindu as under:
“The Shivalik hills, where Karoran village is situated, have highly erodable soil and constitute one of the most fragile ecosystems in the country. As overgrazing and mutilation by the villagers would cause soil erosion, which would lead to floods and consequently failure of crops in the plains, closure of the hills under the Indian Forest Act by declaring them a forest area was considered. The Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), 1900, is an instance of State legislation that imposes suitable restrictions on the use of the hills for non-forest purposes. The Central law, the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, was enacted to check further deforestation and consequent ecological imbalance.
The Bench found that the land “owned” by Sandhu and his family and the companies floated by them were part of the total area of 3,700 acres (1,480 ha) of Karoran village notified under the PLPA. Despite this unambiguous status of the land, Sandhu went on “owning” the land by asserting that it was agricultural land as per revenue records. The Bench revealed how on a single day, June 28, 1995, the records were changed to show the ownership of the land in favour of Sandhu and his associates. (Source url: http://www.flonnet.com/fl2123/stories/20041119003303800.htm)
Thus the court ordered closure of Golf Course. Some of judges were also given membership of the club. It included some High Court Judges. On April 2, 2004, Chief Justice Roy issued notices to the two judges, Justice Viney Mittal and Justice Virender Singh, who had accepted ‘ex-officio’ membership of the resort, they went on mass leave with 23 more judges. Justice Singhvi was the Senior most judge after Chief Justice. Continue reading →
Konakuppakatil Gopinathan Balakrishnan, Chief Justice of India, during an official visit in Brasília, Brazil. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Living in a country, which was under foreign rule for over seven hundred years is not easy. People through generation after generation learned that survival under corrupt autocratic rule is possible only through bribe. No wonder that that about sixty five years after the independence the only pan India culture is corruption. Every office and every institution is marked with corruption. So much so that it is an agenda for mass protests held at several places in the country. However at the end of protests, some of those who were leading it, had also resorted to corrupt practices. In a democratic country Judiciary is the only institution which can keep the ruling élite, in check to ensure that democracy does not become some kind of aristocracy or dictatorship. For the record Hitler was elected to the Government and he seized absolute powers through legitimate/constitutional means.
Unfortunately, transparency in affairs of judiciary in India is severely lacking. The method of appointment of judges to higher judiciary is most mistrusted system and is under attack from all sections of society including those judges who were once part of the system. (Read here.) There have been allegations of corruption almost with every retiring Chief Justice of India with exception of 1 or 2 former CJIs since the new millennium. Newspaper staff publishing the allegations of corruption has been sentenced to imprisonment under contempt law though Supreme Court stayed that decision. But the fear of contempt looms upon every individual/institution. In certain ways situation is more akin to the Martial Law. But it is heartening to note that voice of dissent is coming from within. Following news inspired me to write this post:
A bench of Justices BS Chauhan and JS Khehar said if the competent authority found that the allegations deserved to be acted upon, then the President on the advice of the council of ministers could go ahead as per Section 5(2) of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, and send a reference to the Supreme Court for its opinion on removal of Justice Balakrishnan as chairperson of the apex human rights body. This is the first instance when the apex court has told the government to take a decision on a complaint against a former Chief Justice of India. It is also the first time that the SC has said the government could consider sending a reference against an NHRC chief if the accusations against him were found worth inquiring into.”If the allegations, in the aforesaid determination, are found to be unworthy of any further action, the petitioners shall be informed accordingly. Alternatively, the President of India, based on the advice of the council of ministers, may proceed with the matter in accordance with the mandate of Section 5(2) of the 1993 Act,” the bench said. (http://m.timesofindia.com/india/Supreme-Court-asks-Centre-to-examine-complaints-against-former-Chief-Justice-of-India-KG-Balakrishnan/articleshow/13086987.cms)
Please take note that all that the bench actually said was ‘please follow the law’ as you were supposed to do in case the former CJI was an ordinary government servant. As a matter of fact this order restores Rule of Law by ordering that normal procedure laid down in the Act of 1993 should be followed. It may be recalled that the allegations against KGB is that his kins made money while he was in office. (Read here.)