BENGALURU: Proceedings of the Karnataka High Court were totally affected on Wednesday as advocates stayed away in response to a protest call given by the Karnataka State Bar Council and Advocates Association of Bengaluru.
Both unions had resolved to boycott court proceedings to protest the transfer of Justice Jayant Patel to the Allahabad High Court, which led to his resignation.
Justice Patel, second in seniority on the bench of the Karnataka High Court, was transferred to Allahabad just a fortnight before he would be due for elevation as chief justice in Karnataka. Condemning the preemptive transfer, the Karnataka State Bar Council had resolved to boycott court proceedings in the state.
Speaking to media personnel, the association's president H C Shivaramu said lawyers would stage a dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi if the Supreme court collegium did not take a decision to fill judges’ vacancies in the Karnataka High Court.
The High Court at present has only 25 judges against the total sanctioned strength of 62. Shivaramu said the collegium should also take note of the treatment meted out to Justice Patel.
Only litigants were present in the court halls and their cases had to be adjourned due to the absence of advocates. Proceedings in the city civil and sessions courts and magistrate courts were also affected.
District centres affected
Proceedings in the district courts too were affected across Karnataka. Hundreds of litigants in Mangaluru, Udupi and Madikeri had to return from courtrooms owing to the lawyers’ protest.
Protest marches were taken out in several parts of the state.