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Delhi HC orders probe into lawyers, police clash

Lawyers raise slogans at the Tis Hazari Court complex during clashes with police personnel on Saturday.

Lawyers raise slogans at the Tis Hazari Court complex during clashes with police personnel on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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Bench appoints former judge S.P. Garg to head the inquiry

In a special hearing on Sunday, the Delhi High Court ordered a judicial inquiry by a retired High Court judge into the clash between lawyers and police at Tis Hazari court complex on Saturday.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar took suo motu cognisance of media reports of the incident and directed the Delhi Police Commissioner to transfer Special Commissioner Sanjay Singh and Additional Deputy Commissioner Harinder Singh during pendency of the investigation.

The Bench appointed former judge Justice S.P. Garg to head the judicial inquiry which will be assisted by the CBI Director, the Director of Vigilance and the Director, Intelligence Bureau or any other superior officer appointed by them. It also noted that the inquiry should be completed within six weeks.

The Bench had called upon the Home Ministry, the Delhi police, the city government, the Bar Council of India, the Bar Council of Delhi, the Delhi High Court Bar Association, and all the district court bar associations for the urgent hearing on Sunday.

The court also directed that no coercive action should be taken against any lawyer on the basis of FIRs lodged at the behest of police officials.

The court directed the Police Commissioner to take immediate action on suspension of Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Kanta Prasad, who allegedly dragged an advocate inside the lock up and beat him up, and ASI Pawan, who allegedly fired at the lawyers.

The Bench also ordered the Delhi Police Commissioner to record statements of injured advocates and thereafter lodge an FIR and place a copy of it in the court. It directed the Delhi government and the Centre to provide best treatment to injured lawyers, preferably in AIIMS.

It also directed the Delhi government to provide lump sum ex-gratia of ₹50,000, ₹25,000 and ₹10,000 respectively to advocates Vijay Verma, Ranjit Malik and Pankaj Dubey, who received gun shot injuries.

The High Court said the preliminary departmental enquiry by the police should be completed within six weeks and the report submitted in the court.

The lawyer’s bodies urged the court that the senior officials of the Delhi Police who ordered lathi charge and firing be arrested.

Advocate Rahul Mehra, representing the Delhi Police, told the court that during Saturday’s clash 21 police personnel and eight lawyers were injured; 14 motorcycles and one police car were burnt and eight prison vans were vandalised.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 12:52:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/delhi-hc-orders-probe-into-lawyers-police-clash/article29872291.ece

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