For the third consecutive day on Wednesday (November 6) the clash between advocates and the police intensified as lawyers in all the six district courts here abstained from work and demonstrated outside the courts across the national capital.
They also denied access to litigants in some courts. The lawyers closed the main gates at Patiala House and Saket district courts and did not let litigants access the court premises as part of their protest.
During the protest at Rohini district court, one lawyer took off his clothes and poured kerosene on his body in a bid to immolate himself, while another advocate climbed the rooftop of one of the buildings in the premises.
One of the protesting lawyers, who did not want to be named, said they will not resume the work till the time the policemen, who had allegedly fired at and lathi-charged advocates are not arrested.
Day after the Delhi police’s protest on Tuesday, Bar Council of India Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra on Wednesday said that no incident of violence involving lawyers, the police and the public will be tolerated and action will be taken against the guilty.
He also accused policemen of making provocative statements against judges and lawyers during their protests outside the police headquarters on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters inside the Supreme Court premises, Mishra said the BCI has taken serious note of all incidents of violence between lawyers and the police and all requisite action will be taken against those guilty.
Police protests were triggered by two attacks on their colleagues, one on Monday and another on Saturday. Saturday’s brawl at the Tis Hazari Courts Complex after a parking dispute between an on-duty policeman and a lawyer led to at least 20 security personnel and several advocates being injured.
Two FIRs were registered against unidentified persons, who were seen in a video hitting a uniformed policeman on a motorcycle.
“Despite the matter being sub judice before the Delhi High Court, police have lodged two FIRs against the lawyers on Tuesday. Police are also before the high court and they could tell the court whatever they wanted to say. This lodging of FIR cannot be justified. If they are not happy with the high court order passed on Sunday then they can file the review petition or seek recall of the order,” Mishra stressed.
Jaiveer Singh Chauhan, secretary of Delhi Bar Association of Tis Hazari court said, “Litigants have been allowed inside premises. We are protesting peacefully. They have been allowed inside court rooms too.”
Similarly, Mishra also condemned targeting of media personnel covering the incident and said “targeting the media which is one of the strongest pillars of democracy is not justified”.
The BCI Chairman demanded that the policeman who had allegedly fired at a lawyer on his chest should be arrested as early as possible.
Mishra refused to term as strike the absenteeism at work by lawyers and said it is a peaceful protest and once the policeman who had fired at the lawyer is arrested, the advocates will join judicial work.
(With inputs from agencies)