Litigants suffer amid abstention by SC lawyers
Several hundred litigants suffered immensely, as the High Court which disposes of over 250 cases on a workday on average could not hold proceedings properly yesterday due to an indefinite work stoppage by the Supreme Court Bar Association.
Many of the HC judges did not attend proceedings because of the absence of lawyers, but the Appellate Division judges presided over cases.
The SCBA dominated by pro-BNP lawyers called the work stoppage on Sunday, considering the "security" of all amid the ongoing hartal. In support of the programme, BNP-backed Jatiyatabadi Ainjibi Forum rallied on SCBA premises.
At the same place, the Awami League-affiliated lawyers yesterday held a meeting and a procession protesting the decision.
The stoppage will continue till further notice from the SCBA.
SC sources said judges of 22 HC benches out of the total 49 sat in their courtrooms and adjudicated cases.
At the Appellate Division, judges of the Court No-1 headed by Chief Justice SK Sinha presided over 42 cases, and Court No-2 led by Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah 27 cases. Starting at 9:00am, the court-2 proceedings however closed for the day at 11:00am, instead of 1:15pm, due to the work abstention, Deputy Attorney General Bishwajit Debnath told The Daily Star.
SCBA Vice President Rafiqul Islam Mehedi and its Assistant Secretary AKM Rezaul Karim Khandker approached many HC judges in the morning and requested them not to run judicial proceedings but some did not respond to their call, sources said.
On condition of anonymity, some SC lawyers said many HC judges usually did not conduct proceedings during hartal due to the absence of lawyers. They, however, could not say how many cases could not be disposed of yesterday.