A day after lawyers and police clashed at the Tis Hazari Court complex here which resulted in injuries to several persons, the Delhi High Court decided to take up the matter suo motu and directed the police commissioner to transfer Special Commissioner Sanjay Singh and Additional DCP Harinder Singh pending a judicial investigation.
While the court made clear that no coercive action would be taken against any lawyer, it ordered the suspension of Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI)s Pawan Kumar and Kanta Prasad.
Sanjay Singh was outside the Tis Hazari court on Saturday at the time of the incident and trying to bring the situation under control, while Harinder Singh, who responded to the call about the clash, was thrashed by some of the lawyers. His operator has been injured.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Monica Bharadwaj was also allegedly manhandled by lawyers, while her operator suffered multiple injuries, along with two station house officers who were outside the court to disperse the mob.
Though a lot of officers of the Indian Police Service, including those posted outside Delhi, have taken to Twitter to express their anger, the ones posted with the Delhi Police have preferred a silent protest.
One of the officers, citing conduct rules, said they can’t speak openly about the matter, but the incident has definitely demotivated the force. A post that read ‘Justice for All Police, No Scapegoat’ has been doing the rounds on social media.
A joint commissioner-rank officer said the high court orders have made the department feel victimised. “This is not the first time when police personnel have been at the receiving end, especially after a confrontation with lawyers. Why is the media not showing the police predicament, the department’s stand?” he said.
Some of the officers are also shocked and dismayed by the fact that the HC order has not has been challenged in the Supreme Court.
An ACP rank officer said, “While we are sitting demoralised, the lawyers are being encouraged to take law into own their hands. They are not just thrashing policemen, but beating up autowallahs for making videos of their atrocities. If this is not hooliganism then what is?”
Distress has also seeped in the lower rungs as no senior officer has paid a visit to constables who are recovering in hospitals after suffering injuries in the clash. One of them who was hurt while trying to save a senior colleague said, “No one has come to the hospital. As if we are no one to the senior officers.”
On Monday, the IPS Association put out a statement on Twitter that read, “The incident involving police & lawyers is unfortunate. All should take a balanced view of it based on facts in public domain. All police personnel stand in solidarity with those subjected to physical assault & humiliation. (We) Condemn any attempt to break the law, by anyone!”
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 & humiliation. Condemn all attempts to break law, by anyone!— IPS Association (@IPS_Association) 4 November 2019
Meanwhile, an on-duty policeman was allegedly thrashed by advocates outside Saket Court on Monday.
In a video of the purported incident, lawyers were seen beating up the policeman who was riding a two-wheeler. One of the lawyers was also seen slapping the policeman.