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SC Disapproves HC Bar Assn Stand, Stays Suspension Of Senior Lawyer

24 October 2019


New Delhi: The Supreme Court expressing strong disapproval of the steps taken by the Orissa High Court Bar Association (OHCBA) following its strong views on the ceasework by lawyers in the State, the apex court today ordered a stay on the suspension of senior lawyer Siba Shankar Mishra from the membership of the OHCBA.

A bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph today while conducting a hearing on cessation of work by lawyers in Odisha, apart from ordering a stay on the suspension of Mishra also withdrew OHCBA's powers to take disciplinary action, apex court sources said.

The OHCBA had on Wednesday suspended senior lawyer, Siba Shankar Mishra from its membership. The OHCBA's Action Committee has granted seven days to Mishra for presenting his stand before the Bar. Mishra is representing the Orissa High Court in the Supreme Court in the ongoing lawyers’ ceasework case.

During the hearing Attorney General of India K K Venugopal submitted before the bench for the trial of the case in accordance with the guidelines of the Law Commission on strikes by lawyers, the sources added.

Following the submission, the bench served notices to the Chairpersons of Odisha Bar Council and OHCBA to appear before it in person on November 8. The duo has been directed to appear before the Supreme Court and apprise it about the reason behind the lawyers' agitation and show cause why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against the agitating lawyers. Moreover, the bench has also summoned the Chairperson of the Bar Council of India to remain present in the court on November 8 and assist it in the case.

In addition to this, the bench has also sought details from the State government on how many days work has been affected in the Orissa High Court and other courts in the State in 2018-19 due to ceasework by lawyers.

On the other hand, the Odisha government today told the Supreme Court that it was capable to provide security to the Orissa High Court lawyers and deponents following which the bench opined that there was no need to deploy paramilitary forces in the Odisha HC.