Alarmed at the ongoing ceasework by lawyers across the state, CPM secretary and Politburo member Anil Biswas, on Saturday, appealed to the West Bengal Bar Council to immediately call off the agitation for the sake of litigants, who were being denied justice for the past 25 days.
The strike resorted to by nearly 52,000 lawyers in 558 courts, since November 13, has taken its toll on the prisoners who have been overstaying in various jails due to non-availability of security bonds. “This is high time for the lawyers to withdraw the agitation. The ceasework is not only unethical but also illogical, especially after the government promised to reconsider the court fee hike by removing the anomalies in the proposed amendment,” Biswas said on Saturday.
He also resented the manner in which some lawyers were being prevented from resuming duty. “I have information that several lawyers, particularly the juniors, are being subjected to harassment if they try to return to work,” he said.
Reacting to the CPM secretary’s statement, Saradindu Biswas, a Bar Council member, said the party was virtually threatening them to call off the agitation. “We shall not budge from our stand unless our demand for a fee-hike revision is met,” he warned. He also denied allegations that lawyers were being prevented from resuming work.
In a related development, unable to get hold of the copy of the Bill concerning an amendment in the court fee hike, lawyers called off a meeting that was scheduled for the day. “It would have been easy for us to decide our strategy, had we received a copy of the amendment,” said Uttam Majumdar, chairman of the Council executive committee.