Shots fired in Tis Hazari court complex in a clash of lawyers

Have recovered 5 bullet shells from the spot, will initiate legal action: police; Bar Council of Delhi suspends licence of advocate seen with a gun in a viral video; used a toy gun, claims the advocate

July 06, 2023 01:42 am | Updated 01:42 am IST - NEW DELHI

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Sounds of gunshots rang through the Tis Hazari court complex in the middle of a busy afternoon on Wednesday following a clash between two groups of lawyers. No injuries were reported in the incident.

One of the groups was led by Atul Sharma, secretary of the Delhi Bar Association (DBA), and the other by DBA vice-president Manish Sharma, DCP (North) Sagar Singh Kalsi said. He added that five bullet shells were recovered from the spot.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Central Range) Parmaditya said, “An FSL (Forensic Science Laboratory) team has collected the evidence. We will conduct a thorough investigation and initiate legal action as per procedure.”

A senior police officer said the likely cause of the clash was a dispute over the allotment of lawyers’ chambers and parking space. However, the DCP said, “The scuffle took place due to personal enmity between the lawyers.”

Following the incident, the Bar Council of Delhi suspended Mr. Manish’s licence and asked him to appear before it on Friday. In a letter to the advocate, the BCD secretary said the council had taken cognisance of “a viral video… in which you, among other advocates, are seen involved in hurling abuses and firing in the air.” It added that action would also be taken against the other advocates involved in the incident.

In a video statement later in the day, Mr. Manish said he hadn’t used a pistol but a toy gun in the court.

However, a senior police officer said the gun brandished in the viral video appeared to be a “countrymade sophisticated weapon”.

Karan Sachdeva, an eyewitness, said, “I heard some people arguing outside the central hall. Suddenly, a group of people went towards the western wing of the complex and shot bullets in the air outside the chamber block.”

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