Patna, June 18: Over 80,000 lawyers across Bihar abstained from work during the second-half of court proceedings today in protest against “indiscriminate arrest” of their peers and to press for a law for their protection.
Several lawyers of the Patna High Court took out a march to raise their causes. The lawyers started their procession from the western gate of the high court, crossed Dak Bungalow, Fraser Road, Patna Junction, GPO and Adalatganj and reached the court premises. A delegation of the state Bar council submitted a memo-randum to the Chief Justice in support of their demands.
Similar rallies were brought out in various districts as well. They submitted similar memoranda to senior judicial officials in the districts.
“One of our major demands is the introduction of a law that would ensure protection of the advocates. Besides, there should be a provision that will make it mandatory for police to seek a permission from district Bar councils before arresting any lawyer,” Bihar State Bar Council chairman Baleshwar Prasad Sharma said.
He, however, said a lawyer could be arrested if he/she was accused of some serious offence. “But the local Bar council should be informed about the arrest,” he added.
The lawyers’ demands come in the wake of recent arrest of a number of lawyers.
Anil Kumar Singh, a lawyer at Samastipur civil court, was detained on the directives of the district magistrate and the deputy development commissioner on April 19 for allegedly extorting money for drafting a petition.
The lawyer had allegedly taken Rs 30 as bribe from Jarina Khatun, a widow in Samastipur, for writing an application to include her name in the below poverty line (BPL) list. The woman had later submitted the application to district magistrate Kundan Kumar’s janata darbar, which was conducted by the deputy development commissioner Deepak Anand on his behalf.
In Gopalganj, a lawyer was arrested on trivial grounds, while in Siwan, another lawyer was handcuffed, without any serious offence, sources said.