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Court joins shift strike

The ceasework at the city’s consumer courts has spilled over to the adjoining Alipore court with the Alipore Bar Association deciding to go on a strike on Thursday to extend “solidarity” with their neighbours.

Lawyers of the Calcutta District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum have not been appearing in court since July 2 to protest the department’s decision to shift the two units to separate locations. The lawyers have been supported by several organisations, like the Council for Consumers’ Guidance Centres, which feel that the decision will only help “unscrupulous” service providers in harassing the already-harassed consumers.

At present, all consumer courts are working out of Bhabani Bhavan, a building that also houses the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and has the Alipore Court nearby; all of which help consumers locationwise.

The government, however, had decided to shift one of the units to Lindsay Street and the other to Brabourne Road, arguing that the shift will help consumers. The organisations have, however, rubbished the claim, saying the move will only help the business class.

The Alipore Bar Association, at a meeting on Tuesday, supported the protesters. “We would like the government to reconsider its decision,” association general secretary Subir Chaudhuri said, promising to intensify the agitation beyond Thursday’s ceasework if the government did not respond.

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