The Supreme Court on Friday expressed concern over “illegal” lawyers strike paralysing judicial work in courts of West Bengal and granted protection from arrest to BJP leader Praveen Agarwal in an alleged rioting case.
The top court said litigants have to suffer due to paralysing of judicial work and hoped wiser sense will prevail and the Bar Council and Bar Associations will look into the matter with all seriousness.
A vacation Bench of Justices MR Shah, Aniruddha Bose and AS Bopanna directed Agarwal to appear before the investigating officer of the case against him pursuant to the notices issued to him by the police station concerned, within a period of one week from Friday.
“It is very unfortunate that the strike is going on in all the courts in the State of West Bengal and due to which, ultimate sufferers are the litigants. By such a strike, the entire judicial function cannot be made paralysed and the litigants cannot be allowed to be suffered. Therefore, as such, a day has come to stop such illegal strike,” the Bench said.
It said due to strike in the courts of West Bengal, it has no other option but to entertain the anticipatory bail plea of Agarwal. While directing Agarwal to cooperate with the investigation, the Bench said “the petitioner shall not be arrested till the next date of hearing”.
It sought response from the West Bengal Government on Agarwal’s anticipatory bail plea and posted the matter for further hearing in first week of July. “We hope and trust that wiser counsel will prevail. The Bar Council/concerned Bar Associations may look into the matter with all seriousness,” the Bench said.
At the outset, senior advocate Vinay Navare, appearing for Agarwal said due to the strike in all the trial courts as well as the Calcutta High Court, the normal judicial function was paralysed and therefore, he was not in a position to approach either the trial court or the High Court for anticipatory bail plea.