Madhya Pradesh: Lawyers to protest on March 25 against CJ's order to dispose of cases pending for years

Madhya Pradesh: Lawyers to protest on March 25 against CJ's order to dispose of cases pending for years

On February 22 Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court mandated judges to dispose of at least 25 pending cases (cases that were pending for years), in three months.

IANSUpdated: Tuesday, March 21, 2023, 02:59 PM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Lawers practising in all district courts of Madhya Pradesh will stage a protest on March 25 demanding to withdraw the High Court order that mandatorily asks judges to dispose of at least 25 pending cases (cases that were pending for years), in three months, senior advocate and president of district bar association, Bhopal, P.C Kothari informed.

It came to light on Monday that a judge in Bhopal district court stepped out of the courtroom to ensure that the order issued by his court in connection with a case should be implemented without any delay.

The judge was forced to step out because a group of lawyers were stopping their other colleagues to abstain from work. However, protesting lawyers left the place soon after the judge came out of his courtroom and asked them - 'not to do it in his court'. Meanwhile, the judge was also heard saying that - 'comply with his order'.

It was just an example of the ruckus being created during the court proceeding, on Monday. Some court employees claimed that such incidents have been happening in Bhopal district for nearly a month. Later, it was learnt that not only Bhopal district court but other courts including High Court benches have been facing similar situations for nearly a month.

Protests started happening since Madhya Prdaesh HC's order

Such things started happening (particularly in Bhopal district court) from February 22 as the lawyers have been protesting against the order issued by the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court mandating judges to dispose of at least 25 pending cases (cases that were pending for years), in three months.

A notification in this regard was issued in December last year by the registrar of Madhya Pradesh High Court, on the direction of Chief Justice R.V. Malimath. Since then, different associations of advocates, including district bar councils of advocates have been pressing the MP High Court (HC) to withdraw its order.

Senior advocate P.C Kothari, who is also president of district bar association, Bhopal, claimed mandating for disposal of year-old pending cases has affected their clients a lot and therefore were protesting against this order since February 22.

"This an administrative order issued by the registrar of MP HC on the direction of the Chief Justice. If it was an executive order, we could have appealed before the Supreme Court. Since this order was issued, we have made several appeals to HC to take its decision back. Now, we are left with no option but to abstain from work and not attend hearings in the courts. We have decided to hold a major protest in Bhopal on March 25, wherein advocates practising in all district courts of Madhya Pradesh will join us."

'The order will cause problems'

Kothari further asserted that the district bar association, Bhopal wants that particular day should be fixed for year-old pending cases. "We have urged the High Court to fix Friday and Saturday for years old pending cases, and Monday to Thursday for regular cases. Suppose a person was sent to jail and his appearing counsel is appealing for his bail, and date for his next hearing is given after three months, then who will suffer?

There are more than one lakh lawyers practising in district courts in Madhya Pradesh. A junior advocate Anand Tiwari, who is practising in Bhopal district court said, "Disposing of 25 old cases in just three months is not an easy task because lawyers have to work hard to find out all persons related with the case. HC should adopt practical approach in disposal of pending cases to reduce pendency."

Some welcome the decision

On the other hand, some court employees in Bhopal claimed the step taken by Chief Justice R.V. Malimath needs to be welcomed as it helps to reduce the burden of pending cases.

"It is an experimental step taken by Chief Justice R.V. Malimath. The same step was taken by Justice Malimath when he was serving as acting Chief Justice in Himachal Pradesh and the results were positive. Therefore, lawyers should work to reduce the burden of the courts. Suppose, if 1000 cases are pending before one particular court and 350 of them are disposed of in three months, then why not work on it," a court employee who supports the move said on the condition of anonymity.

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