New Delhi: As lawyers demonstrated outside district courts in the city amid a raging war with the police, Bar Council of India chairman Manan Kumar Mishra on Wednesday said any incident of violence involving lawyers, police and public will not be tolerated.
Speaking to reporters in Supreme Court premises, Mishra said the police are “abusing the judiciary” and demanded that the government step in. He added that the BCI had approached the Supreme Court on the matter, and set a seven-day deadline for action against policeman who opened fire during the November 2 clashes outside Tis Hazari Court.
Mishra said the council will also act against lawyers who broke the law and demanded that no FIR be filed against lawyers till judicial inquiry is over.
“The BCI is against any illegal action by the lawyers. We will take action against lawyers who broke the law. We will look at the footage… What lawyers are doing in the local courts is not a strike. It is a peaceful protest. Strike is what the police did yesterday at ITO,” he said, referring to the 11-hour protest by Delhi Police for action against lawyers.
Police protests were triggered by two attacks on their colleagues, one on Monday outside Saket District Court and another on Saturday at the Tis Hazari Courts Complex after a parking dispute between an on-duty policeman and a lawyer which led to at least 20 security personnel and several advocates being injured.
Two FIRs were registered against unidentified persons, who were seen in a video hitting a uniformed policeman on a motorcycle with his elbow and slapping him outside the Saket court.
Caught in the cross are litigants who were denied access to the courts when protesting lawyers closed the gates. During the protest at Rohini district court, one lawyer took off his clothes and poured kerosene on his body in a bid to immolate himself, while another advocate climbed the rooftop of one of the buildings in the premises.
One of the protesting lawyers, who did not want to be named, said they will not resume the work till the time the policemen, who had allegedly fired at and lathi-charged advocates are not arrested.
Jaiveer Singh Chauhan, secretary of Delhi Bar Association of Tis Hazari court however said: "Litigants have been allowed inside premises. We are protesting peacefully. They have been allowed inside court rooms too."