In 2 months, Noida courts lost 12 days to strikes by lawyers

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The work at Gautam Buddh Nagar court was affected on Monday with the lawyers boycotting work in protest against the Friday night murder of their 26-year-old colleague, Bhupinder Singh.

Despite meetings with senior Noida police officers, lawyers claim they will continue with the strike till the assailants are arrested.

The Gautam Buddh Nagar lawyers have also sought the cooperation of Ghaziabad court advocates to put "pressure" on the state government to improve security at court complexes.

With Ghaziabad lawyers confirming that they would join the protest in the next few days, more strikes are in the offing.

Over the past two months, court officials at Ghaziabad and Noida said at least 12 days have been lost to strikes over various reasons. "Add to this, the scheduled days when the courts don't function, such as weekends. It means that on at least 20 days in the last 60, no work has happened and litigants are suffering. There have been several complaints," a court staff said.

Members of the bar association claimed that the protests are on legitimate issues. "Tell me which one of these issues is wrong? A majority of the protests have been for a separate bench of the Allahabad High Court to be set up in western Uttar Pradesh. Litigants, at present, have to travel 700 kilometres regularly for their cases, and because of the load on the Allahabad High Court, the time between hearings is huge. It interferes with the idea of justice," Rakesh Yadav, an advocate at Gautam Buddh Nagar, said.

Naresh Yadav of the Ghaziabad court said, "Of course we will cooperate with the Noida lawyers. In Ghaziabad, too, in October, there was a shootout, where five people were injured. Now, there is this incident in Noida. How is it that these incidents can occur in high-security establishments like the court? Lawyers and litigants are both at risk. A revamp of the security needs to be done. It's not as if we enjoy calling strikes. Even our daily routines are affected. But pressure must be created in long term interests."

Meanwhile, senior police officers said they had "some clues" with regard to Bhupinder Singh's murder and arrests were imminent. "We have told lawyers that we will solve the case in the next 72 hours. Details cannot be revealed at this stage, but we believe that there seems to be a personal rivalry, stemming from a property dispute, which is the cause of the murder. Investigations are underway," a senior police officer said.

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