SC Takes Tough Stand Against Odisha Lawyers Over Working Days Lost In Strikes

New Delhi: Taking a stern stand against the ongoing lawyers’ agitation in Odisha, the apex court today asked the Chairman of the Orissa State Bar Council and the president of the Orissa High Court Bar Association to appear in person before it proceeds to takes action.

The Supreme Court said, “A decision of collegium clearing names of some candidates (who practices in this court) and not clearing names of other candidates can hardly be a ground for the lawyers to abstain from work.”

Citing its earlier judgment that “…strikes are in violation of law laid down by this Court, the same amount to contempt and at least the office-bearers of the associations who give call for the strikes cannot disown their liability for contempt;” the apex observed that the conduct of lawyers pertaining to the ongoing strike over the decision of the collegium really falls within the domain of contempt.

The apex court specifically desired from the Bar Council of India to inform the court as to what steps could be taken in respect of the conduct of the advocates of Odisha who had violated the directions of the Supreme Court.

On the resolution passed by the Orissa High Court Bar Association to suspend Sibo Sankar Misra, the counsel appearing for the High Court, from the Bar Association, the Supreme Court said, “We have not the least doubt that the said conduct of the lawyers amounts to interfering with the proceedings of this court.” Highlighting the same the court effectively barred the local bar association and the bar council from taking any action against Sibo.

The Supreme Court has scheduled the next hearing in this case for November 8.