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Bar Council in no mood for evening courts


Members tell HC it’s inconvenient for female litigants and lawyers as many come from remote places and don’t have transport


Bapu Deedwania


Posted On Tuesday, September 07, 2010 at 02:27:13 AM

At a time when lakhs of cases are pending in courts across the state for want of time and adequate courts, the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa has opposed the Bombay High Court’s proposal to have evening courts.
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Apart from a plethora of other reasons, the Council has said that it is not convenient for female litigants and lawyers to attend evening courts.

Recently, the HC started 200 morning and evening courts at 20 locations across the state. While regular courts function between 11 am and 5 pm, morning courts start by 9 am whereas evening courts go on till 7.30 pm.

Unhappy with the HC’s decision, the Bar Council held a special meeting on August 31 and discussed the issue extensively. The Council members stated that they have been getting representations from various advocates associations in the state, most of whom are against the evening courts.

“Almost 70 per cent of the 400 odd associations in the state are against the evening courts,” said Advocate Uday Warunjikar, a member of the Bar Council.

In the meeting it was resolved that the evening courts are inconvenient for litigants who come from remote and far off places and also keeping in view the transport facilities in rural areas.

“It is also not convenient for lady litigants as well as lady lawyers to participate in the evening courts,” said Varsha Rokade, secretary of the Council. However, a noted lawyer rubbished their claims saying, the Bar Council seems to have forgotten that in most urban areas women work in private firms till late night.

“It’s ridiculous that women lawyers can’t work till 7.30 pm. The number of pending cases will reduce drastically if lawyers put in two extra hours.”

The Council also stated that due to evening courts lawyers are left with little time for consultation with clients.

“In some places, there is no pendency of cases and still additional evening courts have been started,” Rokade pointed out. The Council has opposed the evening courts and conveyed its decision to the HC.

While the advocates are attending evening courts for now, they are yet to chart out their strategy if the HC does not accept their arguments.

“We have requested the HC to give us a hearing so that an alternative can be worked out,” Rokade said.

It can be noted that the idea behind starting morning and evening courts was to reduce pendency of litigations and deliver quick justice. Also it is not necessary for all lawyers to sit through evening courts till 7.30 pm. Once a particular lawyer’s case is heard, he or she can leave.

Almost 70 per cent of the 400 odd Bar Associations in the state are against the evening courts proposal

– Uday Warunjikar, member of Bar Council

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