172 courts in Bengal respond to ceasework call by CHCBA

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Kolkata, Nov 20 (UNI) Proceedings at 172 courts in West Bengal, including Calcutta High Court, came to a halt today with 55,000 lawyers joining the Calcutta High Court Bar Association's (CHCBA)-sponsored ceasework to protest the Nandigram violence.

However, the Democratic Lawyers' Association(DLA), a Leftist forum of the lawyers, opposed the ceasework and abstained from the protest.

DLA member Basabi Roy Choudhury moved a petition before the Court challenging the ceasework.

A two-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Surinder Singh Nirjhar, admitted the petition and fixed the hearing tomorrow.

Sources said the judges attended the benches but most of the lawyers abstained from performing their duties, with the court wearing a deserted look.

They were protesting agsinst the killing of anti-SEZ agitators in Nandigram, where about 34 people died in clashes since January 5 this year.

Former CHCBA secretary Uttam Majumdar said the judicial proceedings in all the 172 court, including the High Court and its affiliated bodies, were halted with lawyers observing a total ceasework.

Mr Majumdar said the lawyers squatted before the courts across the districts participating in the protest. He also said, ''Although a section of the lawyers abstained from the protest, the ceasework was, in general, total and successful.'' UNI

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