Delhi courts comes to grinding halt due to lawyers` strike

Last Updated: Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 21:29

New Delhi: All judicial work in Delhi
courts, including the high court, came to a grinding halt
on Thursday due to a day-long strike by lawyers protesting against
the proposed 10 per cent tax on fee charged by them for legal
services.

"We are observing strike seeking roll back of the
proposal to levy service tax on us," Additional Solicitor
General and President of Delhi High Court Bar Association
(DHCBA) AS Chandhioke said as the lawyers stopped work in the
Delhi High Court and all the six district courts in Delhi.

The DHCBA also wrote a letter to the Finance Minister
demanding withdrawal of the proposed service tax on lawyers.

"Practising chartered accountants, cost accountants
and company secretaries currently continue to enjoy exemption
from paying service tax in respect of the representational
services provided to their clients before any statutory
authorities ...of late, doctors have been spared from the
service tax net.

"The proposal thus suffers from arbitrariness and
discrimination as well, apart from the stark realities that it
brings indescribable difficulties to the legal fraternity as
a whole," the DHCBA said in its letter.

Delhi Bar Association president Rajiv Khosla claimed
"the strike was a complete success in all the courts as no
lawyer appeared in any one of them."

Meanwhile, litigants faced a tough time as the courts
failed to conduct any judicial business due to the strike.

"I came from Panipat to depose in a criminal case but
due to the strike nothing happened and I will have to come
again on the next day of hearing," Rajiv Singh, a litigant who
had come to Patiala House district court, said.

The Supreme Court, which is closed for Holi holidays,
however, held a special hearing on a plea by Delhi Jal Board
and Indian Oil Corporation against the threats by agitating
Jat community to block movement of essential commodities to
the national capital if they were not given quota in central
government jobs.

Earlier, a coordination panel of various Delhi bar
associations and the Rajasthan Bar Council had decided to
observe a day-long strike on the issue.

The panel claimed that the strike in the adjoining
states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan was also
completely successful.

The Union Finance Ministry`s proposal in the Legal
Practitioners Bill 2010 for imposing service tax on lawyers
cannot be accepted, they said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 21:29

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