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The Bar Council of India (BCI) has demanded the arrest of police officials who were involved in the Tis Hazari violence on November 2, within a period of one week. The statement signed by BCI Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra and Co-Chairman Ved Prakash Sharma, states,
“Unless the higher police officials and personnel, who were involved in the incidents of 2nd November, 2019 at Tis Hazari Court Complex in the act of shooting are arrested and policemen involved in yesterday’s unruly acts are suspended and proceeded against, the Bar Council of India will protest peacefully.
Our demand is to arrest guilty police officials within a period one week failing which we shall resort to peaceful dharnas for the arrest of these people and for proper disciplinary action against them. The Bar stands united.“
The BCI has also directed the District Bar Association and the Coordination Committee of Delhi Bar Associations to suspend their court boycott and to continue with court work for 10 days. The statement goes on to state that if “the culprits are not arrested” within the stipulated time, the future course of action shall be decided later.
Referring to the protest held by Delhi Police officers yesterday, the BCI statement states,
“…The Policemen remained absent from their duty for about 11-12 hours, shouted slogans, used filthy languages(not only for lawyers, but also law courts) and they threatened to smash an kill the lawyers openly. It has come in various media reports. Under Section-3 of the Police Forces (Restriction Rights) Act, 1966, this act of police is a serious offence attracting 2 years imprisonment.“
The statement further expresses that the demands of the policemen to withdraw security for judges and to form a union were “disturbing“. The BCI has also added,
“We demand for the constitution of a high level committee to find out as to who all were involved in planning this illegal protest of police yesterday.“
A scuffle broke 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 altercation soon escalated and resulted in serious violence in the court complex, leading to a lawyer getting shot.
On November 3, after taking suo motu cognizance of the incident, the Delhi High Court had ordered a judicial inquiry into the violence.
The High Court also postponed the elections of the Bar Associations at Tis Hazari and Karkardooma Courts which were slated to be held on November 5 and November 7, respectively.
Meanwhile, the BCI warned that strict action would be taken against lawyers who indulged in the violence.
[Read the Statement here]