Advocates Picket Madras High Court, Police Has Tough Time

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Chennai: Thousands of advocates picketed the Madras High Court on Monday from all over the State demanding that the Court withdraw its May notification to amend the Advocates Act which empowers the debarring of erring lawyers. The Madras High Court turned a high security zone even as state police and CISF guarded the court. The police put up barricades in front of the court complex in order to thwart the advocates from gatecrashing. Four-wheelers and two-wheelers, were denied entry to the campus and Judges’ vehicles were only allowed inside the court. First people carrying a valid ID card were allowed entry but later entry was further restricted. Only the advocates and litigants whose cases were listed in the cause list for the day were allowed inside. Separate counters were opened to check whether their cases were found in the cause list according to their claims and the advocates were allowed into the Court Hall only after thorough verification. While there was so much activity outside the campus, the camps wore a predominant deserted look inside. The police closed all the doors after the protesting advocates group began to grow bigger. All gates except except for the one near Esplanade police station was opened. Meantime, a group of advocates near the Madras Bar Association (MBA) gate and Aavin gate tried to force their way into the High Court campus in vain. A strong contingent of local police force, which was already in place, stonewalled the advocates’ attempts. The lawyers also took out a rally on NSC Bose road raising slogans condemning the office bearers. The high court proceedings were not hindered as the protests were on outside, but hearings and other allied work came to a grinding halt in the City Civil Sessions Courts, NDPS Court, CBI Courts, and Family Courts. Most of the cases were adjourned since lawyers, litigants, and petitioners were absent.]]>

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