Advocates Seek Unified Court Proceedings and Connectivity
In a continued demonstration of protest, lawyers practicing at the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court have abstained from court proceedings for the second consecutive day. Their primary demand is to ensure convenience in the functioning of court proceedings. Specifically, they are seeking to have both civil and criminal cases conducted in the same building or, alternatively, proper connectivity between the old and new High Court buildings, which was inaugurated last month.
Protest Persists for a Second Day
The lawyers’ protests began after the recent inauguration of a new annex wing at the Aurangabad bench. Currently, the new wing is being utilized for criminal proceedings, while civil proceedings continue to be held in the old building. Lawyers argue that this division disrupts their workflow and convenience, prompting their call for unified court proceedings.
Unanimous Resolution and Deadline
The Advocates’ Association of the Bombay High Court at Aurangabad took a unanimous resolution on September 26, stating that its members would cease participating in civil and criminal proceedings at the Aurangabad bench if the criminal courts were not reopened in the old building by October 3. The lawyers’ demands were initially met with no response from the court administration until the specified deadline.
Chief Justice’s Request and Communication
Late on October 3, Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyayaurged lawyers, through the High Court administration, not to abstain from work. The communication highlighted the opening of a door on the east side of the building for the convenience of movement. The remaining demands, the communication stated, would be considered when the Chief Justice visited Aurangabad next.
Distance Between Old and New Buildings
One of the key factors causing inconvenience for lawyers is the physical distance between the old and new buildings. The newly constructed annex wing is approximately 120 meters away from the old building, connected by a skywalk. While the new building hosts criminal proceedings, lawyers argue that the division between civil and criminal cases disrupts their work and workflow.
Lawyers’ Demand for Unified Proceedings
The Advocates’ Association of Bombay High Court at Aurangabad continues to demand that proceedings for both civil and criminal cases be conducted in the same building or that proper commuting facilities be arranged to facilitate the lawyers’ work. They emphasize the need for authorized communication from the Registry to address their concerns.
Chief Justice’s Reminder of Cooperation
Chief Justice Upadhyaya’s October 3 letter also referenced a Supreme Court judgment stating that obstruction of court proceedings could be considered contempt of court. In his communication, the Chief Justice emphasized the importance of cooperation between the Bench and the Bar, reminding lawyers about the address he delivered on September 17, 2023, in Aurangabad, which underscored the significance of harmonious collaboration.
Continued Protest and Resolve
Despite the Chief Justice’s requests, the Advocates’ Association of the Bombay High Court at Aurangabad reiterated their resolve not to participate in work until the difficulties related to court proceedings’ convenience are resolved. They have declared their intention to continue abstaining from work on October 5, signaling a continued standoff until their demands are met.
This ongoing protest in Aurangabad highlights the vital role that convenience and functionality play in the legal profession. Lawyers are underlining the need for efficient court proceedings, emphasizing the importance of unified court facilities and connectivity between buildings to ensure that justice is both accessible and convenient for all parties involved. As this demonstration unfolds, it remains to be seen how the administration and the legal community will address these pressing concerns to uphold the integrity and efficiency of the legal system in Aurangabad.