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The Chairman of Bar Council of India, Manan Kumar Mishra has written a letter to the Co-ordination Committee of District Bar Association of Delhi and the Bar Council of Delhi, hoping that the advocates in the city would resume work in the district courts from November 14.
The BCI Chairman also hopes that if any demonstration is to be held on November 15, it would be calm and peaceful.
“We earnestly hope that you will make all sincere endeavour to ensure that the lawyers resume court work from tomorrow itself, and, if any demonstration is to be held on 15.11.2019, it remains calm and peaceful.”, it letter reads.
Advocates in Delhi have been abstaining from work in the district courts since their clash with the Delhi Police personnel in Tis Hazari Court on November 2. The violence had resulted in several advocates being injured including some advocates suffering gunshots injuries.
It is reported that the advocates would hold a demonstration near India Gate and then march till the residence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah on November 15.
The letter begins with the BCI Chairman assuring the community that it “has been fully supporting the demands for the immediate arrest of the guilty policemen” and even iterates the steps that it has taken in that direction.
“.. It was the efforts made by the Bar Council of India up to the level of the Chief Justice of India that the suo motu cognizance of the incident of 2.11.2019 was taken by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court on Sunday, 3rd November 2019.
The Bar Council of India whole-heartedly supported and argued in favour of the arrest of the guilty police officers till the joint meeting with the Police Officers held that Raj Niwas on 10.11.2019..”
In spite of these efforts, the BCI has stated, it has “failed to understand” why the advocates have not ended their resolve to abstain from work.
“We fail to understand as to how and why abstinence from Courts is continuing despite the above, and even after a resolution signed on behalf of the Bar Council of Delhi and Co-ordination Committee of District Court Bar Associations of Delhi had on 8.11.2019 for suspension of the strike. The Bar Council of India had requested for 10 days time to make efforts for the arrest of guilty police officers.”
“We are pained to say that the litigant public and Bar Council of India were not given even one strike free day by the leaders of the Co-Ordination Committee who issued statements from 9.11.2019 itself resolving to continue the strike.”
Cautioning the advocates of consequences that the “leaders” may suffer at the hands of Supreme Court, the letter further states,
“..prolonged absence of lawyers from Courts in Delhi may be taken very seriously by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and the leaders of the Bar Council of India, Bar Council of Delhi, the Co-ordination Committee and all the Bar Associations of Delhi may have to face contempt proceedings as oper the judgements of the Supreme Court of India. And removal from their respective offices of the Bar Council/Bar Associations and disqualification yo contest the future election of any Bar Council/Bar Associations.”
It also reminds the advocates of the Supreme Court’s direction dated November 8 asking the BCI to take appropriate action against the advocates on strike.
The BCI has also taken the opportunity to express its shock with respect to the application moved before a Delhi Court seeking the arrest of the guilty police officials by the Delhi Bar Association.
“Neither the Bar Council of India, nor the Bar Council of Delhi, nor the Supreme Court Bar Association, nor the Delhi High Court Bar Association or even other District Bar Associations of Delhi were informed or consulted, while these Bar bodies have whole-heartedly supporting the demand of arrest of policemen who opened fire. This is most unfortunate.”
A Committee under the aegis of former Delhi High Court Judge, Justice SP Garg, is currently holding a judicial inquiry on the Tis Hazari clash.
Read the Letter: