The Allahabad High Court recently ordered an inquiry into an incident of October 30 in which lawyers behaved violently outside the Lucknow District Court premises.
The Division Bench of Justice Rakesh Srivastava and Justice Shamim Ahmed passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Piyush Shrivastava & Ors. The petitioners, Piyush Srivastava, Shailendra Kumar Misra and Suchita Singh, have filed the petition praying inter alia the following relief:
“Issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus commanding any responsible administrative or judicial officer to be appointed by the Court to conduct a thorough inquiry into the incident dated October 30, 2021 at about 4.30 p.m. adjacent to Gate No. 6, old High Court, Kaiserbagh, Lucknow and punish the culprits and pass other appropriate orders, in the interest of justice.”
The petitioners are advocates practicing at Lucknow. On October 30, 2021 they filed a bail application in connection to a FIR in the court of Special Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Central Bureau of Investigation (Ayodhya Prakaran), Lucknow.
The said application was taken up at 1 pm and was allowed and the accused persons were ordered to be enlarged on bail.
It is alleged that at about 1.30 pm Satish Kumar Verma, the complainant in the case, claiming himself to be an advocate practicing at Collectorate, Lucknow accosted the petitioners and asked them not to file bail bonds of the accused persons. At about 3 pm, Shailendra Kumar Misra verified the bail bonds as well as the sureties and about 4 pm the accused persons were released on bail.
It is alleged that at about 4.40 pm the same day, 30 to 40 advocates surrounded the petitioners near Gate No. 6, Old High Court Building and hurled abusive language and badly assaulted the petitioners. An FIR was also lodged with the Wazirganj police station.
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In support of their allegation, the petitioners have brought on record some photographs and a video CD recording of the incident. It is stated that it is not safe to perform lawful duties in the District Courts of Lucknow as violence with litigants, police personnel and lawyers has become the rule of the day.
In order to demonstrate the rising violence in court campus, the petitioners have brought on record an FIR dated March 25, 2017 lodged by the then Chief Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow against Anurag Trivedi, Saifi Mirza and others complaining about the violent behaviour of the lawyers.
The Court said that the court cannot sit and watch the unprofessional and unruly behaviour of the lawyers as a mute spectator and is duty bound to ensure that the citizens do not face any difficulty in accessing justice. Any effort to obstruct the rule of law has to be curbed with a heavy hand.
The Court directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police to hold an inquiry and identify the persons who are involved in the incident. While doing so it would be open to him to take help of the averments made in the petition as well as the photographs and CD annexed with the petition.
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The Court further directed the District Judge, Lucknow, the President of Lucknow Bar Association and Central Bar Association to extend all help to the Deputy Commissioner of Police in identifying the culprits.
“It is strange that on the report of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, no arrest has been made although the charge-sheet is alleged to have been filed. In the affidavit filed by the petitioners the petitioners have stated that they are being extended threat by the advocates involved in the case,”
-the court noted.
“The Deputy Commissioner of Police shall submit a comprehensive report regarding the unfortunate incident and also the details of the action taken in connection with the first information report dated March 25, 2017 in a sealed cover to the Court by the next date fixed. The District Judge, Lucknow is directed to send a comprehensive report regarding the incident of October 30, 2021 wherein he shall also state the action taken on the reference made by the Chief Judicial Magistrate. In the circumstances, the Deputy Commissioner of Police is directed to provide armed security to the petitioners, namely, Piyush Srivastava, Shailendra Kumar Mishra and Suchita Singh,” the court ordered. The Court has fixed the next hearing on November 23, 2021.