The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Lawyers line up agitation to shield rights

More than 25,000 lawyers across the state will observe December 9 as a “Protest Day” against the “systematic attempts by the Centre and the state governments to curb their rights”.

The lawyers, under the banner of West Bengal Bar Council, have also threatened to launch an agitation and paralyse judicial administration if the authorities did not accept their demands. The decision was taken on Saturday at a meeting of the bar council’s executive committee. Two CPM-controlled Democratic Lawyers’ Association representatives have also supported it.

State bar council chairman Amiya Chatterjee said memoranda will be submitted to district magistrates on December 9, while city lawyers will take out a rally and hand over a memorandum to governor Viren J Shah.

The lawyers are opposed to the government decisions to permit chartered accountants to appear in tax tribunals and the implementation of the Block-level Pre-litigation Conciliation Bill.

Executive committee member Saradindu Biswas said: “Sections 30 and 31 of the Advocates Act stipulate that only lawyers have the right to appear before any court of law as well as tribunals. But both the central and the state governments are preferring chartered accountants as technical assistants in the national tax and company law tribunals, depriving lawyers of their rights.”

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