Hapur Incident| "The reason behind may have some justification but strike is no solution": Allahabad High Court once again expresses concern over lawyers' strike

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On August 29 at Hapur, police reportedly resorted to lathi-charging lawyers who were vehemently opposing a case lodged against a female advocate and her father just a week prior. The clash triggered a wave of strikes by multiple Bar Associations throughout the State in solidarity with the aggrieved advocates

The Allahabad High Court once again on Thursday expressed concern over the ongoing strike of lawyers after the Hapur incident of alleged police brutality on advocates on August 29, 2023.

While pointing out that today was the 15th day of ongoing strike by lawyers, the bench of Justice Kshitij Shailendra noted, 

"In our judicial system, strike brings the wheels of justice to a standstill, bringing cheer and happiness amongst enemies of justice. Their whips get thicker, sticks more brutal to deepen bleeding wounds day-by-day, their apathy to listen the cry stronger and their sleep against call for justice turning into a deep slumber, so long as the saviours of justice, i.e. the lawyers and the Judges, do not come for rescue of the victims of injustice."

He stressed that the institution of justice and courts of law cannot be equated with industrial establishments where concept of Trade Unions is utilized to justify strikes by industrial labours owing to their demand from employers.

"Neither State Bar Council nor a Bar Association can be treated alike a Trade Union bargaining for their demands," Justice Shailendra underscored. 

Stating that lawyers' strike waste not only judicial time but also cause immense loss and harm to all the social values, he stated that lawyers are well-equipped with all legal means to find out solutions to any problem.

"(Lawyers' strikes) lead to rising pendency of cases, adversely affecting the system of justice delivery, bringing more and more hardships to the litigant(s) for whom the courts are meant," highlighted Justice Shailendra.

Moreover, he drew attention towards another side-effect of such strikes. He said, 

"If courts of law remain closed for long periods, the people may take recourse to other means for redressal of their grievances, including those which may have no sanction of law, like approaching the criminals to settle their disputes, or either turning themselves into criminals and adopting all other polluted means like bribing the dishonest bureaucrats for getting the work done."

The judge said that if this situation persists for a considerable period of time, the resultant effect on the society as well as individuals and the nation as a whole would be unassessable.

Hinting towards the responsibility of citizens to uphold Constitutional principles, he said, "In that eventuality, we would certainly shatter the faith reposed by us in ourselves while giving us the Constitution and its soul and that would be the most unfortunate day for all of us".

Justice Shailendra said that the reason behind present strike being an event of brutal lathi-charge on the lawyers practising in Hapur Court may have some justification behind agitation, but, at the same time, the strike cannot be a solution to it.

"The solution could have been to let the Courts function and make the officers and bureaucrats answerable compelling their appearance before the courts of law to justify their action of lathi-charge and not to shut down the courts giving liberty to the erring officials to roam freely and smiling with a confidence that there is none to call for an explanation or to take action against them or take remedial measures," the judge opined. 

Case Title: Prabhat Kumar And Another v. State of UP and 3 Others