Staff Reporter

To fight its case legally

Coimbatore: Coimbatore Bar Association has called off court boycott by its members and has decided to fight its case against the police legally.

The advocates had been agitating for the past one week to protest against the alleged assault by the police on advocate Mohammed Raffi on December 14 at Gandhipuram. Though the City Police Commissioner had ordered suspension of three constables, the advocates demanded that they be arrested and remanded. They also sought transfer of the Commissioner of Police for not taking prompt action.

The agitations included court boycott for the last one week, besides staging a human chain. On Friday, led by Bar Association President N. Sundaravadivelu, they observed fast expressing displeasure over the failure of the police to take prompt legal action against the "guilty" police personnel and for trying to protect them.

Following the prolonged agitation, the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, A.P. Shah, deputed the former Principal District Sessions Judge, Coimbatore and Registrar (Vigilance), S.F. Akbar. Mr Akbar on Friday met the injured advocate at the hospital where he was admitted for treatment. At the request of the Chief Justice, the Bar Association President announced the withdrawal of the court boycott. The Bar Association has already moved the State Human Rights Commission. The lawyers said they would continue their agitation by initiating legal measures in the High Court and various people's fora.

Plea to lawyers

Meanwhile, the Former Police Officers Association has requested advocates to strive for a harmonious relationship between the police and the advocates.

In a statement, association president M. Subramanian and secretary N.K. Velu said the court boycott and other agitation by the advocates had adversely affected the litigant population and society. The police and the lawyers were not "sworn enemies" and their service to society was of paramount importance.

Following a complaint about assault on an advocate, a case was registered against the police. And based on a complaint from the police constable a case-in-counter was registered against the advocate. Both the First Information Reports were referred to the Revenue Divisional Officer for a magisterial inquiry.

According to convention, action against erring police personnel should be on the basis of the findings of the RDO inquiry. But because of the agitation by the advocates, the police personnel were suspended pre-empting a magisterial inquiry. This was unfair. The lawyers should resume work and fight the issue legally, they said.