Staff Reporter

`To allow backdoor entry to foreign lawyers'

NEW DELHI: The lawyers at the Tis Hazari courts complex here went on a strike on Monday protesting against alleged foreign funding in arbitration through mediation cells functioning in district courts at Tis Hazari and Karkardooma, which according to them was a ploy to allow backdoor entry to foreign lawyers. They also alleged that disposal of regular cases was being affected with regular judges attending the mediation cells.

According to the Bar Association president (Tis Hazari courts), Rajiv Khosla, several lawyers gathered at the court complex and no regular work was conducted throughout the day. Mr. Khosla said the lawyers were against foreign organisations, like Ford Foundation, training judges and funding the mediation cells. He added that this funding was being done at the instance of the Chief Justice of India (CJI).

However, in a press release issued on Monday, the District and Sessions Judge "emphatically denied" that foreign funds and foreign advocates were involved in the mediation programmes being run at the district courts. According to the statement: "The entire mediation programme being run in district courts, Tis Hazari and Karkardooma, is funded by the office of the District and Sessions Judge. The entire salary of staff and day-to-day working expenditure are being paid by this office without receiving any aid from any foreign agency."

Another grouse of the lawyers pertained to the inauguration of Rohini courts scheduled for January 6.