Secrecy sacrificed, allege attorneys

Vadodara: The seating arrangement has been the reason for simmering anger among the lawyers ever since the announcement of new court complex’s inauguration was made..
When the announcement was done, lawyers were told that the capacity in the annexe building is enough for 1,500 advocates. But after the officebearers of the Baroda Bar Association (BBA) and other lawyers visited the new complex, they concluded that arrangement can accommodate only 600-700 lawyers. However, the president of BBA Nalin Patel was of the view that there was enough space to fit more than 3,000 lawyers.

Last week, Patel had told TOI that besides the annexe building, some part of the canteen and the bar library will be used for lawyers. But, on Monday as the lawyers were agitating, he sided with them and made representations to the district judge over the seating arrangement. Some lawyers even pointed out that Patel had changed its stand on Tuesday.

“Today when the district judge asked me, I told him that the police should be immediately sent out of the court campus. Presence of police is not needed to discuss the issue of seating arrangement,” said Patel.

He added, “It was because of the presence of the police and their lathicharge that lawyers got provoked and therefore until the police move out of the court and we getting adequate seating arrangement, we will be on strike.”

The lawyers are of the opinion that the current arrangement where all of them have to sit close to each other is not suitable to them since they cannot maintain secrecy while discussing their cases with their clients. The bar library which has been allocated until a new building comes up also has a similar seating arrangement.

The advocates want to place their individual tables in the premises of the court, but the high court has barred them from doing so.

Lawyers on indefinite strike

Even as the police brought the violence under control, the lawyers have decided to go on an indefinite strike. On Tuesday too, the lawyers have decided to gather in large numbers at 10am in the new court premises and agitate over their demands. “We had a meeting with senior police officials to complain against three policemen who resorted to lathicharge. However, until demands are not met we will stay away from all court work,” said Hitesh Gupta, an advocate .

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