New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) Lawyers of the Delhi High Court Monday observed a strike, protesting a proposed move by Chief Justice D. Murugesan to enhance the pecuniary jurisdiction limits of law suits heard by the high court from Rs.1 crore to Rs.2 crore.
On the other hand, after a full court meeting all judges decided to stand by the decision of the chief justice.
If the chief justice's proposal is approved, the court could only hear civil cases involving disputes of a minimum of Rs.2 crore, and not less. Earlier the limit was Rs.20 lakh and upwards.
The judges took a strong note of the strike called by the Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) and slammed its President A.S. Chandhiok, a senior advocate, for using allegedly "intemperate language" in the notice issued against the decision to raise pecuniary limit of trial courts.
A release issued by the registrar general of the high court said: "The full court further deprecated the tone and tenor of the notice (of DHCBA) and the intemperate language used."
"It resolved that the false assertions made were unfortunate and unbecoming of the president of the DHCBA who also happens to be a law officer of union of India," it said.
"The high court resolved that it stood by the chief justice and other judges of the administrative committee and reiterated its earlier resolutions on the issue," it said.
During the day, office bearers of the DHCBA manned the entry points of the court premises and asked other lawyers and colleagues not to appear before judges. As no lawyer was present to argue their cases, litigants appeared before the courts and took adjournments.
The DHCBA said it apprehended that the doubling of the pecuniary jurisdiction limits would take away work from the high court, as several matters would be transferred to the lower courts.
Chief Justice Murugesan wrote to the central government to enhance
the pecuniary jurisdiction limits without discussion with the bar, the lawyers' body alleged.
It asked 12,000 lawyers affiliated to it not to boycott the chief justice's court till the proposal was withdrawn. Chief Justice Murugesan retires May 31.
The lawyers are likely to call a strike Tuesday as well.