Shimla bar defies Himachal High Court diktat – continues protest sit-ins

Shimla: Undeterred by the High Court’s reprimand over the Shimla district bar’s associations opposition to shifting out to the new district court complex, the association has not only decided to continue with the protest but has turned around and responded that the High Court was distorting facts.

With the one hour sit in protest by the lawyers entering the 27 day on Monday, Harish Khanna, president of the association said that the district bar has even filed its objections before the High Court about the Chakkar site for the new district court complex.

Condemning the misinformation released by the High Court, “facts were being distorted,” said Khanna.

The court appointed high powered committee has failed to implement the 10.5.2007 order and even now it has failed to indicate where space has been earmarked for chambers, provisions for sitting of various revenue courts, consumer forums and other necessary infrastructure, said the bar president.

Resolving to continue with the protest, the association has stated that when the committee and the High Court has failed to implement its own orders in letter and spirit, the association has rightly decided to oppose shifting of the present complex as it would not serve any public interest.

The court in its 15 December order had pointed out that the decision to construct the new complex at Chakkar was taken in May, 2007, which was never challenged by the agitating lawyers.

“That being so, after three years, what is the legal or moral justification in taking things to the street?” the court had questioned. The court had even declared the lawyers strike “illegal and unethical.”

The government has let the court know that an expenditure of Rs 37.44 crore has been incurred on construction of the new judicial complex at Chakkar, which the lawyers are refusing to move into.

The agitation had taken an ugly turn on 10 December, when the lawyers forced a half day shutdown of the city center. The lawyers protest marched through the Lower Bazar and also burnt an effigy of former chief justice VK Gupta, whom they held responsible for having got the new judicial complex constructed even though the bar association was opposed to it.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik has nurtured Hill Post for over a decade. A chequered path had him drift from managing family owned apple orchards, to turning a documentary filmmaker, to a journalist - with India’s leading television networks and newspapers, to boot strapping in founding Start-Ups. He lives in Shimla.

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