The ongoing tussle between Police and Lawyers in the national capital seems to see no near end as a plea was filed in the Delhi High Court on Thursday seeking action against police officials who were agitating in public and sitting on ‘dharna’ after their November 2 clash with lawyers at the Tis Hazari Courts Complex.
The Public Interest Litigation (PIL), which also sought action against police officials who had issued statements on social media when the matter is already sub judice, has been listed for hearing on Friday.
The petition filed by lawyer Rakesh Kumar Lakra has arrayed as parties the Union of India, the Delhi Police, its Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, Deputy Inspector General of police of Arunachal Pradesh Madhur Verma, former Deputy Commissioner of Delhi Police Aslam Khan, Superintendent of Police of NIA Sanjukta Prashar and IPS officer Meghna Yadav.
The plea sought direction to the Centre to initiate departmental inquiry against the Delhi Police officials who were sitting on ‘dharna’ and “making provocative slogans” and issuing inciting statements on electronic and social media. It alleged that the police officials were protesting and agitating in public, which was in contravention of their official duties.
The tension between police personnel and lawyers had been building up since last Saturday when a clash over a parking dispute led to at least 20 security personnel and several advocates being injured.
Thousands of police personnel protested outside the Police Headquarters on Tuesday to demand action against those involved in an attack on their colleague outside the Saket court, the unprecedented scenes of police protest leading their chief Amulya Patnaik urging them to resume duty.
The incidents drew sharp criticism from senior police officials who took to Twitter to register their discontent. “I am sorry…we are police…we don’t exist…we don’t have families…we don’t have human rights!!!” said former Delhi Police PRO Madhur Verma, currently posted as Arunachal Pradesh’s DIG.
He was joined by former Delhi DCP Khan, now posted in Goa, who posted the attack video with a caption, “Khakhi going down to the worse.” The IPS Association also condemned the attack and expressed solidarity with colleagues subjected to “humiliation” and “assault.”
“Incident involving police & lawyers unfortunate. All should take a balanced view of it based on facts in public domain. Countrywide, police stands in solidarity with those police personnel subjected to physical assault and humiliation. Condemn all attempts to break law, by anyone!” the association tweeted from its official handle.
The coordination committee of All District Courts Associations on Thursday said the meeting, which was to be held on the directions of the Delhi High Court after the lawyers-cops clash, was cancelled as senior police officers were not present. “Meeting with police cancelled by coordination committee as senior police officers were not in the meeting. Only the Joint Commissioner of Police, Rajesh Khurana, was there. We want seniors to be there. All were there from the coordination committee. So we walked out from there without having any discussion,” said Dhir Singh Kasana, secretary of All District Courts Bar Associations.
The high court had Wednesday expressed anguish over the “dissonance and friction” prevailing between the bar and the police, which represent and constitute “the preserver and the protector of the rule of law” and suggested a meeting between “responsible representatives” of both sides to “sort out their differences amicably, on the basis of discussion and deliberations.” The strike would continue for the fifth day on Friday but litigants will have full access to courts, he said.