New Delhi: The proceedings in the 2G spectrum case were on Thursday interrupted in a Delhi court by lawyers observing a one-day strike against the delay in transferring power to lower courts to hear all civil cases irrespective of the money involved in them.
As soon as Special CBI Judge OP Saini started hearing arguments on charges against Reliance ADAG senior Vice President Hari Nair, an accused in the case, the district court lawyers requested the judge and the counsel present in the court to adjourn the matter in support of the strike.
The judge, however, told the lawyers, advancing arguments against framing of charges, to take a break.
"I do not want any scene in my court. You (lawyers) can start arguments after 11.30 am," the judge said..
As the lawyers representing the accused in the 2G scam vacated the court, the accused themselves started putting forward their case before the judge.
The lawyers are protesting against the rule in Delhi that lower courts can hear and decide a civil suit to the value of Rs 20 lakh only and other matters, which exceed the limit, are being heard by the High Court.
Rajiv Khosla, spokesperson of Co-ordination Committee of all Bar Association of Delhi said due to the complete strike, the work in all the six district courts here has come to halt.
"Advocates in all the six district courts are observing complete strike today. Not a single case is being attended by any lawyer in the district courts," Khosla said.
Khosla said in other states, district courts are empowered to hear civil cases of any pecuniary value.
"The co-ordination committee waited patiently for transfer of jurisdiction even after April 7 but finding no results till date, is compelled to observe complete strike today in all district courts to draw attention of MPs as well as the Judges of the Supreme Court to look into the issue on urgent basis so as to provide speedy justice to litigants," he said.
The committee said delay in transfer of jurisdiction was deliberate and "under pressure" from persons whose aim is to keep high value cases in the High Court only to earn more even at the cost of delay in disposal of cases.
After the division of civil jurisdiction in nine districts in October 2008, judges in the district courts are left with very little work, it said.
The trial of civil cases by a High Court judge costs 30 times more and also takes 10-years more time than district civil courts, the committee claimed.