Patna: Judicial work at the Patna High Court on Friday came to a halt with an estimated 10,000 advocates abstaining from work to protest lack of seating arrangements inside the court premises.
Delegates from three active organisations of advocates at the HC - Lawyers Association, Advocates Association and Bar Association - marched to the official residence of the Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and apprised him of the issue.
"The Chief Minister responded positively and said the state government was committed to ensure seating arrangements to the lawyers. He also called up Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh, who said that the government was ready to provide land and construct a building for the purpose," Advocate Association's President Vindhya Keshri Kumar told PTI.
Kumar, who is heading the coordination committee of the three associations of HC lawyers, said they have accepted the state government's assurance and will wait for another 15 days for work on the project to start.
"If nothing takes place, then we will be forced to abstain from work indefinitely. Enough is enough. There are around 10,000 advocates practising at the HC here and seats are available for only 3,000 of them," Kumar added.
Kumar also lauded the show of unity put up by the advocates over the issue and said he was hopeful that the situation will improve very soon now.
Advocate Association member and senior lawyer Yogesh Chandra Verma said a three-judge Building Committee of the HC had called the advocates for a meeting over the issue, and assured that final efforts were on to solve the imbroglio.
"The response from the HC Building Committee came at the fag end. By that time we had already decided to abstain from work. We are part of the judicial system and a place to sit is part of human rights. We cannot be deprived of it. It is our genuine demand and directly affects our efficiency," Verma said.
Verma pointed out that there were thousands of lawyers who have to keep standing or moving throughout the day in the court because they do not have a chair and table to sit and work.