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Delhi courts shut as lawyers’ protest enters 4th day; Bar Council demands arrest of cops

Meanwhile, the Bar Council of India on Wednesday announced that it will withdraw its strike and resume work from Thursday.

SNS | New Delhi |

Lower courts in Delhi witnessed a complete shutdown on Wednesday as lawyers barricaded court premises and did not allow litigants inside.

The lawyers’ protest over violence by police personnel at the Tis Hazari Court complex on November 2, entered the fourth day today.

The shutdowns were reported from the Patiala House Court as well as the courts in Rohini and Saket.

Meanwhile, the Bar Council of India on Wednesday announced that it will withdraw its strike and resume work from Thursday but demanded action against cops involved in the scuffle at Tis Hazari court. It promised action against lawyers found guilty in the clashes.

“We held a meeting yesterday in which we have issued notices to advocates. We are going to take action against the guilty lawyers. However, the manner in which thousands of cops gathered outside the Police Headquarters was illegal and unconstitutional,” BCI Chairperson Manan Kumar Mishra told reporters today.

The Council has also demanded the arrest, within seven days, of the Delhi police personnel involved in the scuffle, he said.

“Unless the higher police officials and personnel, who were involved in incidents of November 2, 2019, at Tis Hazari Court complex in the act of shooting are arrested and the policemen involved in yesterday’s unruly acts are suspended and proceeded against, the Bar Council of India will protest peacefully,” a letter issued by Ved Prakash Sharma, Co-Chairman of BCI said.

“Our demand is to arrest the guilty police officials within a period of one week, failing which we shall resort to peaceful dharna for the arrest of these people and for proper disciplinary action against them. The Bar stands united,” Sharma said.

The BCI further said that it has “seen media reports on Tuesday’s unruly mob, protests and filthy slogans by the Delhi Police”. “It was the darkest day in the history of independent India. Certainly, it seemed like a politically managed move and it is very sad,” it added.

Hundreds of Delhi police personnel had gathered at the Police Headquarters at ITO on Tuesday protesting against Saturday’s incident. Family members of the cops also held a protest at India Gate against the Tis Hazari scuffle.

Tensions have been building up between the cops and lawyers after a parking row between the two groups escalated leading to violence and arson at the Tis Hazari Court complex.

At least 20 police personnel and several lawyers were injured and many vehicles were damaged in the incident. The lawyers alleged that the police fired at them.

The Delhi High Court on Sunday ordered a judicial inquiry into the violence by a team comprising a retired judge, Directors of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Intelligence Bureau and Vigilance.

On the Delhi High Court’s order, Special Commissioner (in-charge Law and Order) Sanjay Singh was removed on Monday and Special Commissioner RS Krishnaiya was given the additional charge.