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In a bid to defuse the growing tension between advocates and police officials in the city after the Tis Hazari Violence, the Delhi High Court has suggested that a Joint Meeting of responsible representatives of the Advocates and the Police establishment be convened to enable the two to sort out their differences amicably.
“In our view, therefore, it would be advisable, in this case, that a joint meeting, of responsible representatives of the Advocates and the Police establishment be convened, who should make a sincere effort to meet and sort out their differences amicably, on the basis of discussion and deliberations, with the objective of dissolution of their differences, which, in our view, have essentially arisen owing to a communication gap, during the last few days.”
Stating that advocates and police are the two faces of the coin of justice, a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar has remarked,
“Before parting with this order, we deem it appropriate to note, with a sense of anguish, that, in our democratic polity, the Bar and the Police establishment represent and constitute, as it were, the preserver, and the protector, of the rule of law. They are but two faces of the coin of justice, and it is essential, for the rule of law to prevail, that they work in close proximity and harmony. Any dissonance, or friction, between them, is deleterious to peace and harmony, and destructive of public interest, in the long run.”
The Court thus hoped that a sincere attempt would be made in this direction by the two sides and peace and harmony would ultimately prevail.
The order was passed by the Court while hearing an application by the Ministry of Home Affairs seeking to clarify that the protection was extended only with respect to the two FIRs registered on November 2 after the Tis Hazari violence and not the subsequent events.
The Court has now clarified that the November 3 order granted protection to advocates only with respect to the two FIRs ie. FIR no. 268 and 269 of 2019 which were registered in connection with the Tis Hazari violence.
The Court also heard a Delhi Police application seeking expansion of certain observations made by the Court in its para 15 of the November 3 order.
These observations pertain to Court’s observations of the conduct of the Delhi Police ASIs and Top officials Harender Singh and Sanjay Singh on the day of the incident.
The Bench today clarified that the observations in its order passed on November 3 were prima facie in nature and would have no impact on the Inquiry Committee headed by Justice (Rtd), SP Garg.
A scuffle had broken out between lawyers and police personnel at Delhi’s Tis Hazari Court Complex on November 2 after an argument between a lawyer and the police over parking. The altercation soon escalated and resulted in serious violence in the Court Complex which included a lawyer getting shot.
The Court soon took suo-moto cognizance of the matter and ordered a judicial inquiry headed by Justice (retd.) SP Garg into the Tis Hazari violence. While doing so, it also granted protection from coercive action against the lawyers in connection with the FIRs registered against them by Delhi Police.
The tension between the Delhi Police and the lawyers in the city, however, has not subsided.
As lawyers across the district courts in the city have been abstaining from work since November 4, incidents of Delhi Police personnel, as well as litigants, being manhandled by them were reported from Saket and Karkardooma Court. Hundreds of Delhi Police personnel also took to the streets to register their protest.
Read the Order: