The Delhi High Court lawyers on Monday observed a ‘black day’ and abstained from courts in protest against the ‘arbitrary’ enhancement of the pecuniary jurisdiction for filing suits from Rs. 20 lakh to Rs.2 crore.

Most of the courts wore a deserted look and the litigants just got next dates of hearing as the scheduled proceedings were not conducted due to absence of their lawyers.

Talking to The Hindu, president of the Bar Association A.S. Chandhiok said the abstention from the courts would continue tomorrow as well.

The Association alleged that the High Court had assured them that they would be consulted before taking any opinion on enhancing the pecuniary jurisdiction, but it backtracked on that.

The High Court had in 2012 recommended enhancement of the jurisdiction to Rs.2 crore in an arbitrary manner, without any material basis and against the recommendation of a four-Judge committee in this regard, the Association alleged.

When a delegation of the Bar called on the Chief Justice and the five Judges on the Administrative side to discuss the matter, they assured them that the Bar would be given a complete hearing before recommending to the Union Government to enhance the jurisdiction, but it was not fulfilled, the Association charged.

The four-Judge committee wanted the pecuniary jurisdiction raised to Rs.50 lakh, Mr. Chandhiok said.

He further said that the High Court did not have the advisory power to advise the Government on the matter.

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