Agra lawyers strike work over evening courts decision

Friday, February 11, 2011

AGRA - Lawyers in Agra are on a three-day strike to protest the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to start evening courts to clear the huge backlog of cases.

The Agra Bar Association members began their strike Thursday and said they would send a delegation to Lucknow and Allahabad to apprise the authorities and the high court justices about their opposition to starting evening courts.

“If we keep working whole day and then in the evenings also attend courts, when will we have time to prepare briefs for cases and do the homework?” asked advocate Rajveer Singh advocate.

“Then there is also the problem of security in the courts campus,” Singh said.

Nitin Sharma, secretary of the bar association, said the government should have taken all these factors into account before deciding on an initiative to clear the backlog of pending cases three days back.

The Agra Young Lawyers Association has also opposed the state government’s move.

But with the heavy backlog of cases and judgements taking years across India, the state governments will have to take some drastic decisions like starting evening courts, said Ritesh Sharma of the Legal Mitra Foundation, a Jaipur-based NGO that works towards spreading legal awareness among people.

“Over the years, delays in court proceedings and lack of facilities and online infrastructure development have been causing endless problems for the litigants. Justice is pointlessly delayed. Evening courts could be one way out, but more than that the whole system has to be computerised and information provided online to inject a degree of transparency and urgency,” Sharma told IANS over phone from Jaipur.

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