Allahabad: A day after announcing that they would end their week-long strike in protest against the proposed creation of a separate bench for western Uttar Pradesh, advocates of the Allahabad High Court on Friday went back on their decision claiming that they were "provoked and agitated" by a "mischievous" statement of a senior BJP leader which appeared in a Hindi daily.
In a joint statement, High Court Bar Association (HCBA) president Rakesh Pande and secretary CP Upadhyay said a decision was taken to abstain from judicial work today as well as on Monday, December 22 to protest a statement of the BJP's state president Laxmikant Bajpai which appeared in a Hindi daily.
The news report had said that Bajpai had met some agitating lawyers of western UP, who have been agitating to press the demand for a separate bench for their region, and told them that he would consider fulfilment of their wish as his greatest achievement and that he would help them secure an appointment with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
The HCBA statement said lawyers would now try to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Varanasi scheduled next week and request that "senior leaders of the BJP be asked to desist from making mischievous and provocative statements which try to politicize matters relating to the judiciary".
An advisory committee, comprising senior advocates and
local Congress MLA Anugrah Narain Singh, was also formed today which would hold its first meeting tomorrow "to chalk out programme for further action in order to protect the independence, integrity and indivisibility of the Allahabad High Court", the statement said and urged the Chief Justice of the High Court "to take appropriate action against perpetual strikes by lawyers of certain districts of western UP".
Yesterday, upon returning from Delhi, where he headed a delegation that met Union Law Minister Sadananda Gowda, the HCBA president Rakesh Pande had announced the decision to suspend the agitation and call off the strike.
The decision was met with stiff opposition from a section of advocates who insisted that a meeting of the association's General House should have been convened before making such an announcement.
However, Pande had asserted that judicial work will resume on Friday dismissing voices of dissent as coming from "disgruntled elements" who were "about 200 out of 4,000 members".
Judicial work has been affected in the High Court on account of the strike since last Friday.
The court has only two more working days to go in this calendar year before it closes down for the winter vacation on Wednesday, December 24.