Lawyers On Strike, Demand High Court Circuit Bench For Dharamshala

Dharamshala: Lawyers from the district courts struck work today as they refused to attend any court to support a demand for a circuit bench of the High Court in Dharamshala. The lawyers have been protesting for about a month, but some of them were attending to their everyday cases. That arrangement was done away with as they decided to stop attending the courts from today.

After holding a bar association meeting Tarun Sharma, president of the District Bar Association said, “we have decided that no lawyer will attend any court at the district court complex here”.

“For the strike, there will be no work conducted at the Lok Adalat, Legal Aid Council, Notary, Oath Commission, Mediation etc.,” said Tarun, It was also decided that the bar association would hold a sit-in demonstration within the district court complex to press their demands, he added.

Mr Chakshu, press secretary of the association said that a memorandum of demands had been submitted to the High Court at Shimla. The spokesperson said that the District Kangra Bar Association’s has been for long demanding the stetting of a circuit bench at Dharamshala, but so far no meaningful steps have been taken in that direction.

He said that since circuit courts have now been set up in Palampur, Dehra and Nurpur, at the same time, now family courts are also being proposed to be set up at the circuit level, in such a situation it had become difficult for the lawyers to work in Dharamshala.

The district court lawyers of Dharamshala have been raising this demand for the many years, the last major protest was organised in 2016, when the lawyers went on a hunger strike . Chakshu said, “neither the High Court nor the government is keen to address our demands. Our long standing demands of either abolition of circuit courts in Kangra or setting up of a High Court Circuit Bench at Dharamshala have not been addressed so far.”

He said that all the previous governments promised to fulfil our demands but none has worked for it.

Arvind Sharma is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 20 years of experience. He has worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhasker, Vir Partap, Ajit and PTI. In 2010, he was conferred the Himachal Kesri journalism award. He reports on the Tibetan Government in Exile, politics, sports, tourism and other topics. He lives in Dharamshala.

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