Arrest guilty policemen, demands bar council

Law prohibits personnel from participating in protest to air grievances: DBC chief

The Bar Council of India (BCI) on Wednesday said that the protest by the Delhi Police on Tuesday seemed to be “politically motivated” and termed it the “darkest day since Independence”, while demanding that the guilty police officials be arrested within a week.

BCI Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said that the council had earlier asked the Bar Association of Delhi to call off the ongoing strike but after seeing “Delhi Police’s conduct”, it could not “sit tight over the matter”.

The apex bar body alleged that policemen remained “absent from duty, shouted slogans, used filthy language” and threatened to “smash and kill lawyers” openly.

The BCI has also demanded the constitution of a high-level committee to find out who were involved in “planning the illegal police protest on Tuesday”. “Arrest the guilty police officials within 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,” said a BCI release.

Meanwhile, Delhi Bar Council (DBC) Chairman K.C. Mittal condemned Tuesday’s protest by Delhi Police personnel, even as several lawyers’ associations decided to abstain from courts for the third consecutive day on Wednesday.

Mr. Mittal told The Hindu that the police protest was unconstitutional as the Police-Forces (Restriction of Rights) Act, 1966, prohibits them from participating in any public protest to air their grievances.

“A provision in the Act reads that no member of the police force shall participate in, or address, any meeting or take part in any demonstration organised by any body of persons for any political purposes or for such other purposes as may be prescribed,” he said.

It also bars police personnel from becoming members of, or associate in any way with, any trade or labour union, political association, or with any class of trade unions, labour unions or political associations, said Mr. Mittal.

Further, as per the law, they cannot communicate with the press or publish or cause to be published any book, letter or other document except where such communication or publication is in the bona fide discharge of his/her duties or is of a purely literary, artistic, scientific character or is of a prescribed nature, said Mr. Mittal while referring to provisions under the Act.

In case of violation of the provisions, police personnel can be sentenced to imprisonment of up to two years or fined up to ₹2,000, the law states.

The DBC chairman refused to share his views on the continuing agitation by lawyers, saying that he will go by the bar association’s decisions on it. In a separate development, the Coordination Committee of All District Courts Bar Associations of Delhi took a decision to abstain from courts on Thursday.

(With inputs from

Nirnimesh Kumar)

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 10:25:26 AM |

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