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Home > India > News > PTI

Bihar: High court lawyers on 3-day strike

March 31, 2008 13:06 IST

Over 8,000 lawyers of the Patna High Court went on a three-day strike from Monday to protest the recent steep hike in court fees introduced by the Bihar government, barely a month after they abstained from work for two days against the measure.

The decision to go on strike was taken at an extraordinary meeting of the coordination committee of the three associations of the advocates of the court on March 28, its convenor Yogesh Chandra Verma said.

"We have been compelled to go on strike as the promise made by Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on March 17 that the anti-people provisions of the Bihar Court Fees Amendment Act, 2007 would be withdrawn, has not been honoured," Verma said.

Lawyers of the subordinate courts at Danapur, Patna city, Patna district collectorate, Kishanganj, Purnia, Barh and Masaurhi have gone on an indefinite strike against the step.

Over 3000 lawyers of the Patna civil court are already on an indefinite strike since March 14. Earlier, lawyers of the high court had abstained from work on February 28 and 29 to protest the measure.

Rajendra Singh, former chairman of the Bihar State Bar Council and president of HC lawyers association described the hike as 'Black Law' and said the coordination committee would meet again on April two to decide the future course of action if the measure was not withdrawn by then.

Rana Pratap Singh, president of High Court Bar Association, described the hike as 'anti-poor, irrational and exorbitant' and said the step in increasing stamp duty on various types of cases would deny the poor the right to justice.

The state government, through an extraordinary gazette notification, which was communicated to the high court registry on February 19, raised the court fees doubling these in most cases and increasing it four fold in cases of public interest litigation.

After introduction of the new fee structure, the charge for filing a PIL in the high court has up to Rs 1000 from Rs 250. The fixed court fee for presenting Vakalatnama was increased from Rs 25 to Rs 50 and the rate for procuring copies of judgements and other proceedings in the court raised from Rs 1 to Rs 10 per page.

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