A Satara-based lawyer Manoj Laxman Shirsat has moved a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court against Maharashtra and Goa Bar Council and six other bar associations who are demanding a high court bench to be set up in their respective districts.
The bar associations are on continuous strike to press their demands.
The lawyer in his petition has prayed that strike is illegal and its a contempt of court. Shirsat, who currently lives in Mumbai, moved the PIL on September 2 before the bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha.
The six bar associations include those of Kolhapur, Satara, Sangli, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Solapur. He has also attached media reports along with the petition.
“From August this year, many bar associations under the leadership of Maharashtra and Goa Bar Council are abstaining themselves from work demanding high court bench to be set up in their respective districts. But due to this, pendency of litigation is increasing as the lawyers are not turning up in the courtroom. Many witnesses have to come to the courtroom and go without disposing their testimony. Many criminals who are pinning in the jail are brought to the courts from and are taken back from court without hearing. The court officials are also helpless and giving further dates,” he said.
He argued before the justice, “I am not against the HC bench to be formed in the districts. But abstaining from work is not going to resolve the issue. This is illegal and contempt of court by the lawyers.”
Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa member Harshad Nimbalkar said, “We will file our say in this regard.”