More than 150 judges extended their mass leave till July 15 to protest suspension of 11 of their colleagues by the High Court.
The High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad, which serves both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, suspended two judges on Monday and nine more on Tuesday for participating in a rally to protest allotment of Andhra-origin judges to subordinate courts in Telangana.
The judges, who went on mass leave on Tuesday, decided to extend it indefinitely after the High Court suspended nine more of their colleagues.
The lawyers in Telangana also continued their protest across the state. The high court turned into a fortress as police beefed up security to foil the ‘Chalo High Court’ agitation called by the lawyers’ Joint Action Committee. Four lawyers were arrested when they tried to break through the security cordon to proceed towards the High Court building.
The lawyers staged protests at various courts in Hyderabad and nine other districts. A scuffle broke out between the protesting lawyers and police at Sangareddy court in Medak district. The protesters were trying to lock the court premises.
The High Court took action against the judges after they participated in a march to Raj Bhavan which was organised by the Telangana Judicial Officers’ Association to protest the appointment of Andhra-origin judges. They also submitted their resignations to association President Ravinder Reddy, authorising him to forward the same to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, who is their appointing authority, after July 2 if the provisional list of allotment was not recalled by then.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao called on the Governor. He is believed to have discussed the issue of the bifurcation of the High Court and the ongoing protest by judges and lawyers.
Rao had sent a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday, urging him to expedite the process of bifurcation. The Chief Minister had also urged him to issue a notification to take up division and allocation of judicial officers and staff after the High Courts of the two states start functioning separately.
Union Law Minister Sadananda Gowda is expected to meet the Chief Justice of India on Wednesday evening to discuss the issue.
Earlier, leaders of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and opposition parties met Gowda urging him to expedite the process of bifurcation of the High Court.