Monday, September 10, 2012

'Evening courts might disrupt law and order' - The Times of India

'Evening courts might disrupt law and order' - The Times of India:

Lawyers in Punjab believe that evening courts can pose a law and order problem in a state known for its post-sunset love of the booze. According to All Punjab State Bar Associations, an umbrella organization of the local bar associations of Punjab which has been protesting against the introduction of evening courts in the state, litigants may visit courts under the influence of liquor creating law and order problem in functioning of the court.

The association is to hold a statewide protest march on August 31 on the premises of the Punjab and Haryana high court. Terming the move as disturbance with the "social culture" of the state, association president Sunil Moga told TOI on Wednesday that: "drinking is intricately woven in the Punjabi culture and if the evening courts continue till late hours, it can create a law and order situation".

Giving another reasons for not accepting the concept of evening courts, Moga said that launching the evening courts is a unilateral decision of the Union government and nothing was discussed with the lawyers' community before implementation. Recently, the Punjab and Haryana high court had asked to hold evening court from 5 to 7pm to reduce the pendency of cases from the subordinate courts. These courts were to take up the cases pertaining to cheque bouncing under the Negotiable Instrument Act.

A meeting of president and secretaries of 62 bar associations of the districts and the sub-divisions of Punjab was held in Moga last week and decided to protest against the evening courts. Lawyers' community is of the view that pendency of cases is higher in high court and they should hold the evening courts not the subordinate courts.

Some of the other reasons the associations have mentioned for not accepting the evening courts include non-availability of transport facility after 5pm in most parts of Punjab, it may not be possible for the litigants from remote areas of Punjab to come in the evening, difficulties for women advocates to attend the court in the late hours and lawyers will not be able to continue to work till night at the cost of health and family life.

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