Several Karnataka High Court lawyers protested on Monday against the continuance of Chief Justice P D Dinakaran, facing allegations of land grabbing, forcing him to suspend the proceedings and leave the hall.
Defying an order of the high court, the lawyers abstained from court proceedings in response to a call given by the Advocates Association of Bangalore in consonance with a resolution it passed last week to protest Dinakaran's continuance. The resolution said the lawyers wanted to "uphold the dignity and integrity of the judiciary". Dinkaran, who was hearing cases, suspended the proceedings and later left the court hall after a section of advocates resorted to slogan shouting against him.
"We had passed a resolution asking members to abstain from the court for a day and several have responded to it", K N Putte Gowda, president of the AAB, told PTI. Asked whether it amounted to violation of a stay order passed by the high court on Saturday, he said, "Where is the question of violating any stay order when our desire is to uphold the judiciary's integrity and dignity?".
According to R Rajanna, the association's general secretary, the stay order did not hold good as it was a resolution passed by the society and not a government body. "This is the first time that the high court had intervened in matters of the association. Ninety nine percent of lawyers have abstained from work, though some who supported the chief justice have appeared", he claimed.
According to some lawyers who abstained from work on Monday, the stay order was "vague" and did not give any specific directive on the matter. "It is the discretion of a lawyer whether he or she wishes to abstain or not", said a senior lawyer. However, the government advocates continued to appear before the court.
In another development, a camerman of a television channel was roughed up by advocates when he tried to enter the court with his camera. Police have thrown a tight security ring in the court premises, as well as around Dinakaran's court hall.