A day after Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association (HCBA) called for the boycott of Chief Justice Ravi Shankar Jha, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has decided to resume the physical functioning of the court from Monday.
“Initially, three single benches will hold court through physical mode from February 8 (Monday) to take up the cases of their respective cause list apart from the cases notified on January 27,” said the notification.
Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association had passed a resolution on Monday that requested Chief Justice of India and the Union Law Minister to transfer Chief Justice Ravi Shankar Jha to any other High Court.
The resolution was passed taking into consideration the continuous reluctance of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to resume physical hearings even though movie theatres, schools, religious places, and gyms are fully functional, and political gatherings are taking place.
“The continuous closure of the High Court which is the custodian of Constitution and protector of fundamental rights is sending wrong signals apart from taking away the livelihood of lawyers, stenos, clerks and other persons associated with the legal field,” the resolution said.
HCBA had also canceled the membership of Punjab advocate general Atul Nanda for opposing the physical functioning of the court on Monday. However, the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana stayed the decision in the evening.
Bar Associations are the bodies that represent lawyers in a court while Bar Councils are state-level affiliates of the Bar Council of India that regulates the working of lawyers.
Advocate general Atul Nanda called the resolution “unilateral and arbitrary” and said, “the decision to commence physical hearing rests with the administrative committee of the high court and not with me.”
The state bar association had also stated in the resolution that the members who appeared in the virtual court hearings even after the boycott call will also be stripped of membership.