- Apprentice Lawyer
The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought the response of the Bihar government on a plea demanding judicial inquiry into physical attack on Bihar District judge, Dr. Dinesh Kumar Pradhan by a police sub-inspector.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar issued notice to the State of Bihar and posted the case for further hearing after 4 weeks.
The accused sub-inspector was impleaded as a party after Court had ordered petitioner, advocate Vishal Tiwari to do so at the last hearing.
The sub-inspector had allegedly threatened, abused and chased Dr. Pradhan when he was out on an evening walk.
The plea by Tiwari has stated that the sub-inspector was accompanied by paramilitary personnel on a flag march when he attacked Dr. Pradhan
As per the petition, the police official "had a grudge against the judicial officer as Pradhan had taken action against him and a few other police officers for dereliction of duty a few months back when he was the Aurangabad chief judicial magistrate".
The petition has drawn a parallel between the 1989 Nadiad incident of Gujarat with that of the current one. The Nadiad case dates to 1989 when the Chief Judicial Magistrate was beaten, handcuffed, paraded and molested by police for the reason that he wrote to the DGP of the State for action against a police station for dereliction of duty by police officials at that police station.
The top court had then taken cognizance under criminal contempt and punished the erring police officials.
The Bihar Judicial Services Association had written a letter to the DGP on October 24 seeking action against erring officers, but no step was taken yet in connection with the incident, the petition has stated.
"It is the law declared by this honorable court in the case of Lalita kumari vs. State of Uttar Pradesh that in cognizable offences it is the mandatory duty of the police to register the FIR in cognizable offences," reads the plea.
Tiwari has sought setting up of a two-member inquiry commission comprising sitting judges of Patna High Court to probe into the alleged incident and submit a report before the Supreme Court.
The petition apart from the inquiry committee has also sought initiation of criminal contempt proceedings not only against the sub-inspector but also higher police officials for their inaction.
The plea avers that attack and assault upon the judges and magistrates by police not only lowers the dignity of judiciary but also leaves an impression on the public regarding their own safety.
Tiwari has prayed for directions to be issued to the police to register FIR in the case and for orders to be issued to all States to "take measures for the safety and security of the judicial officers of the subordinate judiciary in their respective states."
"The judges of subordinate judiciary are the vital part of our judicial system. The trial judges are regarded as the kingpin of the case. Assault upon them with the feeling of grudge is the assault upon the dignity and supremacy of the Judiciary of this country," the plea says.