FIR lodged over assault on lawyer who spoke for JNUSU leader

Bassi defends situation saying use of "heavy force" against lawyers would have been counter-productive and inappropriate.

February 18, 2016 02:08 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 02:38 am IST - New Delhi

Delhi Police have registered a case in connection with the alleged assault on an advocate after he was targeted by persons dressed in lawyers’ robes at Patiala House court for speaking in favour of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar.

The FIR was registered last night under relevant IPC sections on the basis of a complaint, a senior official said.

On Wednesday, a group of persons dressed as lawyers, led by Vikram Singh Chauhan, once again unleashed a brazen attack on journalists and JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar at the Patiala House Courts complex, two days after they were caught on camera thrashing scribes and JNU students and teachers branding them as “anti-nationals“.

Before Kanhaiya was produced in court, a group of persons dressed as lawyers were seen jostling with another group of lawyers allegedly targeted for speaking in favour of the arrested student leader. One of them was also allegedly assaulted and a police complaint was lodged later in the day.

Under fire over violence in the court complex, Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi denied that Kanhaiya was beaten up and defended the handling of the situation, saying use of “heavy force” against lawyers would have been counter-productive and inappropriate.

“I do not think you can call the situation (in the court complex) today went out of hand,” he had told reporters after the Delhi Police’s handling of the situation at the Patiala House court complex came under intense scrutiny from the Supreme Court.

Referring to Monday’s violence in which a group of lawyers had attacked journalists, JNU students and teachers, following which two FIRs were registered with the police taking suomotu cognisance of the matter, Bassi told reporters that three lawyers, including V.S. Chauhan, and BJP MLA O.P. Sharma were summoned for questioning.

Earlier today, O.P. Sharma joined the investigation and presented himself at Tilak Marg police station. However, the three lawyers are yet to come before the police.

Claiming that Kanhaiya was well-protected while being taken inside the court, the Commissioner had said, “Usually, accused persons are escorted by one or two police officials when taken to court. In this case, he (Kanhaiya) was escorted by two ACP rank officials and two inspectors apart from other staff.”

Some people at the court did indulge in pulling and pushing. Some of them, in their attempt to reach this person (Kanhaiya) even hit our cops. Notwithstanding the jostling, he was transferred to the court where he was supposed to be produced,” Bassi said, adding that police will investigate reports of stone pelting on Kanhaiya.

Bassi cited earlier instances of violence involving lawyers in Madras High Court, Allahabad High Court and elsewhere to buttress his point that lawyers are to be handled carefully.

“We have managed the situation. There was no breach of peace. We have followed norms of prudent policing,” Bassi said.

He said he had no idea as to what the Supreme Court-appointed lawyers have said in their report. “If they find me guilty, then I have a right to rebut.”

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