Lawyers vs Police: Delhi HC refuses to clarify previous order

While hearing the petition filed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the Tis Hazari clash, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday declined to give any clarification or modification of its earlier order saying that it was “self-explanatory”.

The division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Hari Shankar said that the order dated November 3 was only meant for the Tis Hazari incident on November 2 in which two FIRs were lodged. The bench also said that the judicial inquiry panel, which was set up to look into the clash, would continue to function without any influence of the observation made by the court.

Lawyers said the order of the Delhi High Court was clear and there was no reason to file an application for seeking clarification.

“When the Police had already lodged the FIRs on November 4 why did they move an application for clarification now?” they asked.

The Bar Council of India (BCI) told the bench that the police should not be given any further power to lodge FIRs in this matter before prior permission of the court or the judicial enquiry.

The bar council further stated that police had registered FIRs against lawyers under sections including dacoity in the Saket court matter and added that this was an abuse of power.

Two FIRs were registered in connection with the alleged assault of a police officer outside Saket district court here.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Acharya, appearing for the MHA said that the order of no coercive step should be only limited to those two first dated November 2, we are seeking clarification.

Bar associations are opposing the MHA’s application, filed on Tuesday, seeking clarification of the Delhi High Court’s order in which it had directed the Delhi Police to not take any coercive action against lawyers while directing Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik to transfer Special Commissioner Sanjay Singh and Additional DCP Harinder Singh, in connection with the case.

Bar Council of India (BCI) Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra contended that the MHA’s application should be dismissed.

Meanwhile, Rakesh Khanna, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) urged the court to stop the media reporting of the matter.

He argued that the media is not showing the true picture. “People in media debates are saying that judges have passed a biased order. This is contempt. Media should be restrained for covering this case/incident.”

Advocate Mohit Mathur appearing for the Delhi High Court Bar Association argued that the order is very clear and it refers to the FIRs on the incident.

“They have registered two FIRs subsequently. If they have already registered it then for what do they need the clarification for. It is a precipitative action. We want restoration of peace and we bow down to it,” he said.

Manan Mishra, Chairman, Bar Council of India stated that Delhi Police are misusing their power.

“Yesterday at ITO they were shouting slogans. The conduct on the part of the police is questionable.”

Mishra was referring protest by police personnel outside Police Head Quarters (PHQ) on Tuesday demanding justice and action against lawyers in the incidence which left several cops injured.

KC Mittal, chairman, Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) said that the court should take the suo moto action on the “provocative” statements of the police.

“We were trying our best to cool down the situation. We are helpless at times. We want to work and peace to be restored. Both media and police are provoking,” he said.

Mittal asked the Delhi High Court to take Suo Moto cognizance on the Tuesday’s conduct of the police alleging that they passed “provocative” statements.

The lawyers have been protesting against a clash between police and lawyers at Tis Hazari Court complex on November 2, which left at least 20 cops and several advocates injured.

A day later on November 3 , a group of advocates had allegedly assaulted a policeman outside the Saket district court.

Lawyers have been protesting at several places across the city against the scuffle. A group of lawyers also protested outside the Supreme Court on Monday, demanding the enforcement of Lawyers’ Protection Act.

One Assistant Sub-Inspector was suspended and a special investigation team (SIT) was constituted to probe the violence on Saturday.

Some advocates sustained bullet injuries after police allegedly opened fire on them.

A total of around 20 police personnel including Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (North), two Station House Officers (SHOs) and eight lawyers sustained injuries in the incident.