Lawyers stay away from work, protest court fee hike

Team SoOLEGAL 6 Feb 2018 12:03pm

Lawyers stay away from work, protest court fee hike

On Monday, The Aurangabad District Bar Association resorted to a strike against the proposed hike in court fees. A petition has already been filed in the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay HC challenging the constitutional validity of the Maharashtra Court Fees (Amendment) Act, 2017, by which, the state has hiked the court fees required for filing of proceedings.

Except for the government pleaders in the district, all the private practising lawyers joined the strike. Association's president and lawyer Sanjay Bhingardive said, "About 5,000 lawyers from across the district actively joined the strike, which was communicated to the judiciary in advance."

Lawyers maintained that a couple of days back, a representation were made to the Principal District Judge and all the other judges were informed about the strike. During the representation they also requested the judiciary to not to pass any adverse orders in listed matters, citing absence of lawyers.

Association secretary and lawyer Sudesh Shirsath said,

"The association has sought the high court stay on the implementation of the Act as well as to declare it ultra vires. The Maharashtra governor has already given his assent to the amendment on January 16, 2018."

Echoing him, another officer bearer and lawyer Vijendra Sarosiya said that the lawyers from across the state would further intensify the agitation against the government's move, which will only add to the people's hardships.

The lawyers body has made the state government respondent in the matter, through the secretaries of the law and judiciary department, the general administration department as well as the Bombay high court through its registrar general.

The petition argued that the imposition of exorbitant court fee would adversely affect not only the functioning of the high court, but also the public image and dignity as an institution for dispensation of justice. "Access to justice cannot be a luxury for the rich. It is a basic human right, its availability to all restores public faith in the justice delivery system," the petition has said.

The petition adds

"When the court fee is collected in the garb of administration of justice and the same is not utilized for providing better infrastructure to the courts, including the high court, for overall administration of justice. The judicial pronouncements of the Supreme Court demand a broad co-relation between the quantum of court fee and expenditure incurred on administration of justice for the court fee to be in the nature of fee and in that sense of the matter, the honorable high court is an equal stake-holder in the subject matter."

Tagged: Aurangabad District Bar Association   Bombay HC   Maharashtra Court Fees   Amendment 2017   court fees  
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