The Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday was a scene of chaos as agitating lawyers climbed on top of the gates and created a ruckus. There was high drama outside gate numbers 4 and 6 where protesters were rounded up and four were detained.
Police closed the gates as a precautionary measure to prevent the protesters from entering inside the court complex.
Lawyers have been demanding a separate high court for Telangana for the last two years and the issue has now come to a head.
Giving scant regard to the notice saying ‘No Slogans’, protesters have been sloganeering for the past three weeks outside the complex.
Slogans of ‘Go Back, Go Back, Andhra Judges Go Back’ and ‘Jai Telangana’ have rent the air as protesting advocates are determined to see this through.
The protesting lawyers’ demands include: suspension of all eleven Telangana judges should be revoked, law minister Sadananda Gowda should resign if he can’t ensure a separate high court and AP judges should leave.
Advocate and Ex General secretary Bar Association Kukatpally Courts Ram Chander said, "We are holding a strike for the bifurcation of the common high court and also against suspension of the Telangana judicial officers in an irregular manner. The suspension order should be recalled. The notice issued by the Registrar General is against the rules and the same may be withdrawn and cancelled. The agitation will continue till we reach our desired goal."
Chandra Shekhar Reddy, government pleader High Court remarked, “For the past 22 days, the entire Telangana advocates community has been agitating for the bifurcation of the united high court. And we have been suffering decades together due to the Andhra judges ruling the Telangana region. Even after bifurcation (of the states), the judiciary has not been bifurcated. The Seemandhara judges who have been in the collegium have been preventing the entry of our junior most officers into the judiciary.”
“We are also taking support of various political parties including the ruling party, which is now supporting us after being silent for 20 days. Now we will intensify our agitation till our demands are met and we reach our goal.”
The seriousness of the issue can be gauged from the fact that a lawyer attempted self-immolation on Monday in protest against the suspension of two Telangana judges by the High Court.
A total of eleven judges have so far been suspended. Protesting against the suspension, about 200 judicial officers working across the state have decided to go on mass leave for 15 days beginning on Tuesday.
All courts in Telangana except the Hyderabad High Court have been shut since June 6 with judges leading the boycott.
The issue has taken a political turn with TRS MP and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter K Kavitha claiming that the Centre was not bifurcating the High Court under political pressure from Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
"Younger judges from Andhra have been posted in Telangana, while those close to retirement have been posted in Andhra,'' says Kavitha. According to a Firstpost report, Telangana legal luminaries feel this is a ploy to deny promotions to officers from the state.
"The fear is that in the next decade, no district judge from Telangana will get promoted to High court judge,'' says L Ravichander, a senior lawyer practising at the High court.
The Centre has argued that unless an Andhra High Court comes up in and around AP capital Amravati, the bifurcation cannot take place.
Meanwhile, the Telangana CM has planned to hold a dharna at Jantar Mantar in Delhi in the coming week, along with the support of the advocates.
Here is the video.