Join Work From Nov 16 Or Face Music: SC To Agitating Odisha Lawyers

New Delhi/Cuttack: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the striking members of the bar associations of Odisha to resume work by Wednesday.

After hearing a petition of the Orissa High Court regarding the absence of members of different bar associations from proceedings that have affected judicial work in all subordinate courts in the state, the apex court ordered the same.

Expressing strict concern about the lawyers’ agitation, the Supreme Court said that the licenses and registrations of all agitating lawyers would be cancelled, if they do not join work by Wednesday.

Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said, “Even if we have to suspend 200-300 advocates, we will do that. We can ask the state bar council to cancel all your registrations. We will come down very heavily on you. Do not force our hand.”

The apex court also directed to put the suspension notices served to agitating lawyers on hold till the next hearing of the case.

“Absolutely no question. We want more suspensions, in fact. That is what we have directed the bar council. We do not care if all of you lose your source of employment, but the public should not be made to suffer like this. It’s good if these people don’t practice,” said Justice Kaul.

Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka said, “Not just litigants, but junior members also suffer because of such conduct”.

The Supreme Court heard the matter last Friday and issued a notice to the Bar Council of India and the Bar Council of Odisha. The next hearing was on Monday.

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