The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bid to end court strike

Calcutta, Nov. 15: Three days into the strike by lawyers in the state, the government called them for a meeting.

Law minister Nishith Adhikari will meet officials of the West Bengal Bar Council at his Writers’ Buildings chamber Saturday afternoon.

Earlier, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee stressed the need for an early solution to the impasse between the Bar Council and the government over hike in court fees following a recent Ordinance.

Amiya Chatterjee, president of the Bar Council, said: “I welcome the decision of the government to hold talks, but, the problem will be solved only if it agrees to review the decision to increase court fees.”

Chairman of the executive committee of the council, Uttam Majumdar, said they would request the minister to restrain from giving effect to the Ordinance till the review. “Our members will not allow us to withdraw the movement under any pre-condition,” he added.

The government, however, is hopeful that a “formula will come up during tomorrow’s talks”. The law minister said: “I believe the problem will be sorted out tomorrow.”

Rallies were organised today in front of courts across the state to campaign for a proposed dharna and hunger strike by the lawyers. The men in black coats will sit in front of the high court building from Monday.

“At least 10,000 lawyers are expected to assemble at the rally,” former chairman of the council, Saradindu Biswas, said.

For the third day, there was no work in the state’s 568 courts. Members of the CPM-affiliated Democratic Lawyers’ Association defied the ceasework call and were present in the courts but cases could not be heard due to the absence of other lawyers.

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