Chairman Bar Council says government should have consulted and taken lawyers into confidence
Extending support to farmers’ protest against new farm laws, the Bar Council of Delhi has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to repeal the new farm laws.
The letter said it seems that while framing the laws, it was not brought to the notice of Prime Minister that they are “more detrimental” to the interest of legal professionals across the country.
It said “bar of civil court jurisdiction” will substantially affect district court as well as high courts in some states.
The letter said the nature of subject matters covered under these laws are so vast that all disputes up till now entertained by civil courts will be adjudicated by SDMs/ADMs, who are not part of regular courts.
Senior Advocate Ramesh Gupta, Chairman Bar Council of Delhi, said the government should have consulted and taken lawyers into confidence when farm laws are simply not related to routine revenue matters but matters which are basically contractual and commercial.
“How can any litigation having civil consequences be given for adjudication to a structure involving administrative agencies, controlled and run by executive authorities?” he asked.
“Your kind attention is invited to constitutional provision for separation of judiciary from executive to maintain its independence and probity as enshrined under the Constitution but by resorting to these laws, what is not permissible under our Constitution has been provided,” the letter said.
“It will substantially damage district courts in particular and uproot the lawyers. Under our Constitution, a fine pyramid of justice dispensation system has been envisioned. The district courts are part of basic structure and being the principal courts of original jurisdiction is the foundation of the pyramid. These courts are at the doorstep of people, where one approaches for access to justice but the trend in the recent past is to destroy courts. This will seriously jeopardize the interest of the public, as getting justice at the doors of bureaucracy is far from reality,” it added.
According to the lawyer’s body, these laws are not only detrimental to the peasants but also affect the lawyer community, the litigants and the general public.
“The mindset behind the move to oust the jurisdiction of civil courts and transfer of power to bureaucrats, acting as executive officers, to decide disputes between the traders and the farmers, will lead to corruption, and touts will victimize unimaginably. Shutting the doors of civil courts to entertain disputes, pertaining to the subject matter under these Acts will prove disastrous,” the letter said.
It mentioned that a large number of farmers are agitating on the borders of the capital.
“You are also champion of the cause of masses and while you were not in power, you always said that right to protest is a universal right and whenever enactment or any act of the government is not suitable to masses and there is agitation, the government in power must listen to their grievances and come out with an amicable solution,” the letter said.