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The Bar Council of India (BCI) has warned that strict action would be taken against lawyers who indulged in violence yesterday, amidst the Court boycott being carried out to protest the clashes between advocates and the police at Tis Hazari on Saturday.
A five page appeal to refrain from continuing the Court boycott, signed off by BCI Chairman, Manan Kumar Mishra, and Co-Chairman Ved Prakash Sharma states,
“Hooliganism and violence has no place in the Bar. The leaders will have to stop it immediately. It’s my earnest and humble request. Kindly identify those Avocates (if they are Advocates in real sense)and sent their names and other details by tomorrow to the office of Bar Council of India.
We are tarnishing the image of the Institution by sparing such rowdy elements. Our inaction and tolerance encourages them and ultimately results in Contempt Proceedings by the High Courts or Supreme Court. “
The BCI has also called on the Coordination Committee of all District Bar Associations in Delhi to convene an emergency meeting by 2:00 pm so that earlier resolutions calling for the Court boycott may be recalled. In view of the judicial inquiry ordered over the incident by the Delhi High Court, it has been stated,
“…the resolution of Coordination Committee (that police officials or personnel should be arrested first) is now meaningless and has no legal basis. We are to think this important aspect from legal point of view, so that we may not be laughing stock before the Society.”
The BCI statement goes on to note that Police Associations have also become active and are threatening to protest or move the Delhi High Court to review its order. Further, it also pointed out that there is CCTV footage and reports being circulated by “opponents” to malign the image of the Bar and “implicate some lawyers. The Chairman has now appealed,
“As responsible leaders of the Bar, you can’t overlook these materials. The opponents will produce these things before the Committee, the CBI, the Vigilance, the IC and the High Court. … Even in Tis Hazari Court campus, on 4th November untoward incidents of violence are being reported. Most unfortunate!”
Alluding to specific acts of reported vandalism, the BCI also remarks.
“We hope it’s a manufactured video. No lawyer will do it. But we shall have to prove our innocence once such materials are produced before the Inquiring Judge. “
The BCI, in its release, further has reiterated its appeal that the lawyers in Delhi resume court work with immediate effect.
“…we again request you (the big leaders of Bar Associations of Delhi who all are our best friends, nears and dears) to recall the resolution passed yesterday and resume the court work from today itself. You all know we pay full respect to each one of you.“
The BCI has also added,
“… if the peace and harmony is not restored and resolution (to abstain from work) is not recalled, then we will have no option but to withdraw from this episode. We will neither participate in enquiry nor we will be in a position to defend anyone inside or outside Court.”
The lawyers’ protests in Delhi was sparked off by violence which arose from a scuffle that had broken out between lawyers and police personnel at Delhi’s Tis Hazari Court Complex on Saturday after an argument between a lawyer and the police over parking. The argument soon escalated and resulted in serious violence at premises of the Court Complex which included a lawyer getting shot and being seriously injured.
[Read the BCI Statements here]