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Bar rallies behind Lala

Calcutta, Nov. 15: The bar association today said it would do “everything possible” to ensure that Justice Amitava Lala’s efforts to “tame” rallies “would not go in vain” and that persons who had maligned the judge would be “punished appropriately”.

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s government, which on Thursday expressed to Calcutta High Court its intent to enact a law to curb marches in the city, had deployed its full arsenal (led by state advocate-general Balai Ray) to oppose Justice Lala’s September 29 ruling and obtained a stay.

Hearing of the government’s petition against Justice Lala’s order is expected to be held shortly. The court is also hearing a contempt case against Left Front chairman Biman Bose for anti-judiciary comments attributed to him.

At a stormy session today, a majority of bar association members voted to “intervene in the pending appeal and contempt proceedings arising out of Justice Lala’s judgment”. The resolution was passed by a thumping majority in a voice vote — the dissenters found themselves outnumbered 30 to over 250.

Those who voted against the resolution mostly belonged to the Left-affiliated Democratic Lawyers’ Association.

The bar association was directed by its members to either become a party to the case in favour of Justice Lala or file a separate case supporting his order.

“The demand of a good section of our members compelled us to convene a meeting of our association,” said secretary Chandi Charan De.

“At the meeting it was decided we should protest against the act of maligning by a person like Biman Bose.”

Association president Sardar Amjad Ali said: “Since the order was moved suo motu by Justice Lala, there was no one to plead his case in the court. So we will now intervene in the pending appeal and contempt case. We have to maintain the dignity of the high court as well as of the judiciary as a whole.”

Members feel it will be difficult to become a party to the case as the order was suo motu in nature. “We, therefore, feel that we will have to file a fresh case and request the court that our petition is heard at the time the rally case comes up for hearing,” a member said.

 

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