Earlier in Forum







Q: Should lawyers resort to strikes?
This is the third instalment of readers’ response

Amend law to protect public

Defenders of law should not have a right to put the masses to inconvenience, particularly when they are being paid or have been already paid for the services to be rendered. Cases linger in courts for years. What if an important date of hearing in a case comes up and on that fateful day the protectors of law are on strike? Spare a thought for the feelings of aggrieved ones who have waited for justice for so long. It is ironical that the ray of hope of getting justice is obliterated by lawyers themselves by subverting the process of justice. Lawyers should be made to fall under the net of Consumer Protection Act, if they fail to provide services for which they have already charged their clients. The government must evolve a system to protect the masses from such strikes.



Before singling out a particular profession, we should go into the root cause of the problem. In India, everyone is allowed to go on strike, take mass leave, hold demonstration, etc., under the Fundamental Rights enshrined in our Constitution. When our elected representatives in Parliament and Assemblies, troop into the well of the House, it is a strike. When judges of a high court take mass leave, it is a strike.

Doctors in Uttar Pradesh also went on strike. Sometimes, transporters strike and now it is the turn of lawyers to go on strike. Processions, slogan shouting and roadblocks are a regular feature nowadays. They are sometimes espoused as democratic rights and at others as Fundamental Rights.

While using these rights, no one bothers about the inconvenience caused to the masses — who may be patients, litigants, commuters or most importantly the people of the country when costly legislation hours are lost. The need of the hour, in my opinion, is suitable amendment of the Constitution regarding Fundamental Rights. But the question is, who will clip his own wings?

S. K. ROY, Jalandhar

Get rid of the scourge

I don’t approve the manner in which the lawyers resorted to strike. The strike at Delhi’s Tis Hazari Courts has thrown the judicial services out of gear, almost paralysing it. The strike has dented the image of judiciary in the eyes of the general public. It has caused much inconvenience to people who travel from far-flung areas to be told that their cases cannot be heard due to the strike.

The manner in which the lawyers raised abusive slogans against the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India and others is highly condemnable and is wholly unbecoming of their profession. The government should do its best to get rid of this scourge otherwise it will have far reaching consequences.


Lawyers should uphold the law

The question is like asking a teacher if he should teach, as it would be foolish to ask a doctor if he should give medicine. Strike is an illegal way of expressing your feelings. The answer to the whole issue should be in negative. No doubt, lawyers have the right to express their demands and they know better than anyone else different number of ways to express their demands.

In a country like India, where Constitution is supreme, it is a folly, especially on the part of lawyers to resort to strike. A republic is for the people, by the people and of the people; then lawyers, who work for the public, should never resort to strike. Even a one-day strike by advocates seriously affects the whole judicial machinery of the country. A true lawyer is that who obeys the law of the land and doesn’t resort to strike; instead he takes up legitimate ways to air his grievances.



Whether it’s an intricate issue of constitutional law about our Fundamental Rights, or a simple traffic violation, a lawyer is called upon to help resolve conflicts. Lawyers do this in various places, and through different means. The most familiar image, of course, is of lawyers vociferously arguing in courts of law in favour of their client.

Litigating lawyers are called upon to argue various kinds of issues, ranging from property disputes to criminal offences; constitutional issues to matters of family law. These vociferous black-and-white-suited gentlemen argue points of law to ensure that their clients’ interests are represented in the best possible manner.

Our society is loosely bound by a mesh of rules that we call ‘laws’. It is the job of lawyers to understand these rules. Many lawyers advocate issues they are concerned about, such as children’s rights, women’s issues, or protection of human rights. If they really want to make a difference to people’s lives, then lawyers should uphold the law.

Wg Cdr T. L. BHARDWAJ (retd), Chandigarh

All have equal right to strike

People from all professional backgrounds have a right to voice their demands and problems. If the matter can’t be resolved through just proposals or speech, then resorting to strike is justified. If other people are free to go on strike, then why not lawyers, who serve as custodians of critical and crucial issues affecting our society.

It is often seen that lawyers are dissatisfied by decision statements delivered by judges. In this kind of a situation, a strike can be a solution. Moreover, if demands like pay revision or protection for lawyers are not fulfilled, then strike is the only solution left.

A strike is justified at a right time and for a right cause. Equality of a right must be the first criteria. The strike is not a prestige issue, but a critical one to make this profession boom and grow.



Every citizen of India is free to show his or her resentment against the government by striking work in which he is engaged, though within rules. Lawyers, like others, have the right to strike. It is rightly said that ‘Only the bearer knows where the shoe pinches.’ Lawyers also have grievances, which could not be redressed by other peaceful means. Now, they have opted to strike work in the courts, to present their grievances to the public. It is strange to note that those who help public in getting justice have to opt for the aggressive way for getting their grievances redressed. Provided the strike is peaceful and it doesn’t hamper work in courts, I endorse the stand taken by the lawyers.


Collective bargaining is right of all

Collective bargaining is the right of every organised section of our society. The legal profession is not listed amongst the essential services in any Act. All men are created equal and have the right to liberty and pursuit of happiness. ‘Hartal hamara nara hai’ (strike is our slogan) distinguishes a terrorist from a workman/normal citizen, who wants to exercise his democratic right to make his voice heard. Lawyers, as a part of our democratic society, have a right to raise their voice. They are entitled to the right to strike in a democratic set up to achieve their demands through collective bargaining. I don’t find anything wrong when the lawyers decide to strike against injustice. In a democratic set up, we should be prepared for strikes by all citizens or we should ensure that no one is more equal than the other. If this is not done, then it can give rise to terrorism.


Strike should be the last resort

Lawyers should not resort to strike as they are considered to be the backbone of the legal system. They are the trendsetters, highly respected and supposed to be well-versed with the technicalities, procedures and formalities of the law of the land. Strike is the last resort to solve a problem. Going on strike means all the other peaceful means and methods have failed.

Only helpless and hapless litigants will pay for the strike — suffering financially, physically and mentally. The already lengthy, time-consuming and complex judicial procedure will become more tiresome and burdened. Furthermore, a strike by these torchbearers of law will only set a very bad example for the younger generation. A strike causes immense loss of manpower, money and material. It breeds lawlessness and is a setback to peace, progress and prosperity of the country. So, these priests and preachers of law must avoid strikes.


Don’t shatter the trust of people

I think lawyers should not strike as it not only disrupts the judicial system, but also disturbs the performance of the government. Strike by lawyers allows the guilty enough time to change the conditions in their favour. It is a setback to people fighting for justice and who have spent many years and finances seeking it. Lawyers should not think only of their own benefits. They should keep in mind the trust reposed in them the people whose cases they are advocating in the courts. A lawyer is the axis in their wait for justice. I say that lawyers of my country should not go on strike as it can shatter the trust of people.


Right to protect public interest

A Lawyer is a person, specially a solicitor, whose job is to know the law and to give legal advice to clients in particular, and to the public in general. A strike is to protest against an employer or the working condition in the hope that by doing so the demands of the person will be met with.

If our Parliament or the government does something against the interests of the common man, then it is the duty of lawyers to launch a strong, widespread protest such as the strike undertaken by Delhi lawyers. The All-India Bar Association argues that the Criminal Law amendments violate the basic principle of criminal jurisprudence and take away whatever little safeguard available to an accused.

Whenever there is a “No, My Lord” situation, it becomes the duty of lawyers to lodge a strong protest to safeguard the interests of the public. Therefore, lawyers should be free to go on strike whenever it is the need of the hour.

Dr S. K. AGGARWAL, ACET, Amritsar


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