Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court.

Uttar Pradesh Bar Associations on Strike Over Tribunal Disputes

Judicial proceedings in Uttar Pradesh face a setback as bar associations announce a strike against the bifurcation and establishment of the Education and GST Tribunal. The strike is to highlight rising grievances of lawyers in the state, reports SAIKEERTHI

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THE AWADH Bar Association (Lucknow) and the Allahabad High Court Bar Association, on Tuesday, passed resolutions to suspend judicial work today. While the strike is set to happen on the same day, the reasons vary.

Demands by the Lucknow Bench 

The Lucknow High Court’s Governing Council of the Awadh Bar Association headed by senior advocate and chairman, GHS Parihar called an emergency meeting on February 23rd.

The council during the meeting decided that they would “abstain from Judicial work” on Wednesday expressing opposition against the establishment of the GST Tribunal at Allahabad. A writ petition was filed by the Bar Association requesting for the “establishment of the State bench (of GST) at Lucknow”.

These events follow the state government’s decision to set up the state bench of the GST tribunal in Lucknow in response to a request put forward by the GST council in New Delhi. However, the Allahabad High Court had directed the council to set up the state bench of the GST tribunal at Allahabad and four area benches in Ghaziabad, Lucknow, Varanasi and Agra.

Other demands put forward by the Lucknow Bench include the establishment of the Company Law Appellate Tribunal and the Educational Tribunal at Lucknow.

Bifurcation of the Educational Tribunal has come under intense criticism since the state government withdrew its decision to establish the tribunal in Lucknow and proposed to bifurcate it between Allahabad and Lucknow.

The Lucknow Bar Association stated that grievances related to the failure of extending the territorial jurisdiction of the Lucknow bench to Kanpur, Bareilly, Moradabad and Meerut did not get any response.

Demands by the Allahabad High Court

In an emergency meeting called by the Allahabad High Court Bar Association chaired by advocates Amrendra Singh, the council decided to abstain from judicial work on Wednesday. This move is to protest the establishment of the main seat of the Educational Tribunal in Lucknow.

The council further stated that the establishment of the tribunal in Lucknow would jeopardise the lawyers and bring about a crisis in the academic community. According to observations by the council, they argued that the main bench of the tribunal must be situated in Prayagraj and the other bench in Lucknow.

According to the council, it was informed that the Deputy Chief Minister had guaranteed the Bar Association of establishing the Principal Bench of the Education Tribunal in Allahabad with its subordinate bench in Lucknow.

The Uttar Pradesh government in their recent budget announced that the issue of the educational services tribunal has been resolved where two benches will be set up in Lucknow and Allahabad. Deputy CM, Dinesh Sharma said during the budget speech that both these tribunals will have the same members and that the government will soon issue a notification regarding the matter.

The recent series of events reflects a similar trajectory in 2019 when the government’s decision to set up the Educational Tribunal in Lucknow was met with Bar Associations abstaining from judicial work.

(Saikeerthi is a final year journalism student at Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune, and an intern with The Leaflet.)

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