2G: Case hearing disrupted by striking lawyers

The lawyers were miffed over delay in transferring of power to lower courts seeking hearing for all civil cases.

New Delhi: The proceedings regarding 2G spectrum case were interrupted on Thursday morning in Delhi court by lawyers, who observed a day’s strike in response to the ongoing delay in transferring of power to lower courts seeking hearing for all civil cases irrespective of money factor.

Once Special CBI Judge OP Saini started with hearing arguments based on charges posted against Reliance ADAG senior Vice President Hari Nair, an accused charged I case requested the judge and the counsel present in the court to adjourn the session in support to the strike.

Lawyers were summoned by the judge for advancing arguments against framed charges, to take a break. "I do not want any scene in my court. You (lawyers) can
start arguments after 11.30 am," the judge said. As soon as the lawyers defending the accused individuals in the 2G scam vacated the court, the accused themselves started putting their case before the judge.

The lawyers actively protested against the rule in Delhi regarding the present format under, which lower courts do hear and decide a civil suit, which adds up to a value of Rs 20 lakh and other matters that exceed the limit are to be heard by High Court.

Rajiv Khosla, spokesperson of Co-ordination Committee of all Bar Association of Delhi expressed his concern towards the ongoing complete strike that affected work in all the six district courts. "Advocates in all the six district courts are observing complete strike today. Not a single case is being attended by any lawyer in the district courts," Khosla was reported saying.

Khosla earlier said that district courts in other states are empowered to hear civil cases of any pecuniary value. "The co-ordination committee waited patiently for transfer of jurisdiction even after April 07 but finding no results till date, is compelled to observe complete strike today in all district courts to draw attention of MPs as well as the Judges of the Supreme Court to look into the issue on urgent basis so as to provide speedy justice to litigants," he said.

The committee reportedly said the delay in transfer of jurisdiction was deliberate and "under pressure" of individuals whose aim is to carry on hearings at High Courts on the cases that hold high value only to earn more at the cost of delaying disposal of other cases. After the division of civil jurisdiction in nine districts in October 2008, judges in the district courts are left with very little work, it said.

Trial of a civil case by a High Court judge costs around 30 times more and even takes 10 more years than district civil courts, the committee claimed.


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