By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, August 18: The Chief Justice (acting) of the Gauhati High Court, Justice K Shreedhar Rao drew flak from the Hindu Yuba-Chantra Parishad, Asom (HYCPA) which appeled to him not to taint the sanctity of judiciary.
The reaction came today close on the heels of the conflict between Chief Justice (acting) K Shreedhar Rao and the Gauhati High Court Bar Association over various administrative and judicial issues reaching a flashpoint on Monday when the bar association, in a resolution adopted after a two-hour strike, decided to boycott the Chief Justice's court - whether single or division with any other judge - indefinitely. In fact, the bar association decided to send a committee to meet the Union Law Minister and Chief Justice of India, demanding removal of Justice Rao.
Reacting to the development, HYCPA president Balen Baishya and general secretary Satyajit Deori said: “The judiciary is the strongest pillar in judiciary. The people have faith on judiciary which should not be tainted for persol interests or ego. The sanctity of public interest litigations (PILs) shouldn’t be tainted.”
“The conflict between the bar and the Chief Justice has been going on for quite some time. Firstly, the Chief Justice had arbitrarily transferred a number of PILs from the Aruchal bench to his court. He has appointed a particular lawyer as amicus curiae in the cases, which is not in keeping with the tradition of the court," said senior advocate Arup Borbora yesterday. A full-bench of the court also endorsed the Chief Justice's decision to transfer the PILs from the Aruchal bench.
The leaders of the HYCPA today said: “Giving the charge of looking after PILs to a particular advocate, who is a novice in the profession, can’t be free from doubts.” The Parishad backed the Bar Asociation in its movement against the Chief Justice (acting) of the High Court.
The bar association, at its extra-ordiry general meeting held yesterday, also took exception to the "questioble" behavior of the Chief Justice against some lawyers, both inside and outside the court. It was also alleged that the Acting Chief Justice had been attending the court only in the first half of the day since the last six months or so.
Rao, an officer of the Kartaka Judicial Service, was sworn in as a judge of the Gauhati High Court in October, 2013. He is slated to retire in October this year.