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Above: Rahul Mehra (file picture)

The Delhi High Court bench of Acting Chief Justice Gital Mittal on Tuesday (April 3) grilled Rahul Mehra, Standing Counsel, GNCTD for non-submission of status report on the attack on Deepa Arya, member of Delhi Bar Association as also for loosely handling the case of the three incidents of serious violence that have taken place against the life and property of members of the bar and one which the court has taken up on its own motion.

Today the bench asked: “What is the status? What about the person you arrested?”

Rahul Mehra replied: “He got bail.”

At this senior counsel Vikas Pawah, representing the petitioners, said: “He is the main suspect. In three months they (Delhi Police) couldn’t identify the person behind the burning the cars of advocates. The person who is nominated in the FIR has still not been arrested. Either way we are affected by the order of the trial court.”

The bench asked: “Where is the status report?”

Mehra said: “We are challenging the order. We haven’t given the clean chit to our SI. So far there is nothing incriminating.”

Advocate Pracha for the petitioners said: “They (Delhi Police) did not object to the bail application.”

Senior Advocate Kirti Utpal for the petitioners said: “Justice Siddarth Mridul ordered to take strict action against the IO Naresh Kumar involved in the case.”

Pawah said: “It is an attempt to exonerate someone. The business of filling of status report in sealed cover should be stopped now.”

The bench said: “The matter of the arrest of Deepa Arya is nowhere in the case. Why don’t you file the status report Mr Mehra? Are you investigating Deepa Aryas arrest? Why are you giving clean chit to everybody involved in the case? Even to the officer who is involved directly in the case?”

Mehra said: “I don’t know how to show my anxiety and my pain.”

The bench said: “Mr Mehra, we are extremely pained by the manner in which this matter is being dealt with. Isn’t there an obvious attempt to protect this police officer IO Naresh Kumar? You are giving protections and clean chit to person. Exonerating people who are not even before the judge.”

Senior counsel Kirti Utpal aggressively stood up and said: “It is a ridiculous Act by Rahul Mehra. A drama he created before the trial court and took the bail. He didn’t disclose about the hearings on in this High Court before the trial court judge.”

The bench said: “We want to know what action you have taken in regard. Why this drama? Can you imagine something like this Mr Mehra? Is this Delhi Police’s conduct against the bar association people? Are these three IO officers present here in the court? We want to know what you have done to the SI. Why have you created this drama before us Mr Mehra? Why seal cover report before us? What have you done before the trial court judge? It is a brilliant strategy by you Mr Mehra. We searched earth to heaven to book these persons, but you are trying to save them?”

At this Rahul Mehra said: “People are pressuring me. I will recuse myself from this matter.”

Justice Gita Mittal reminded the lawyer: “Law doesn’t permit breaking doors. Law didn’t permit breaking legs of a lady lawyer in a lawyer’s home.”

At this the petitioner said: “There might be many other officers behind it. Only an IO can’t be involved in this case. We want to make one request please allow us to take all status report from the trial courts.”

The bench asked: “Who is the judge from trial court?”

The petitioner said: “Sidharth Sharma, ASJ, Patiala House.”

The bench asked: “Can we see the bail application? Delhi HC Division bench order must be filed before the trial court. Has that been done?”

Advocate Pracha said: “No, they (Delhi Police counsel Rahul Mehra) haven’t.”

Justice Gita Mittal said: “Who is the IO in the present case. Is he present in the courtroom?” (Mukesh Kumar IO is present in the court room) “How shamelessly they IOs’ are standing here and saying nothing has happened. We will start a disciplinary enquiry against DCP South Delhi if we found single incriminating evidence.”

The bench ordered that it will be heard again after four days. At the request of Mehra it is listed for Monday.

—India Legal Bureau

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