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The Supreme Court has rebuked both the Delhi police and the lawyers for the violent clash last week in which around 30 people were injured. The top court also disagreed with the contention of the lawyers that the police had committed atrocities against them.

The court said that both sides were to blame and refused to comment further on the issue.

“Nobody claps with one hand,” the Supreme Court said today. “Problems are from both sides. We don’t want to say more. We are silent for a reason. Nobody can say we acted in a certain way since they did that.”

The November 2 incident that took place at the national capital’s Tis Hazari court was followed by an attack on a policeman by a group of lawyers outside the Saket court. On Tuesday, irked policemen sat on protest outside Delhi police headquarters to demand “equal justice”. During their 11-hour protest, they heckled senior officers and raised slogans to underscore their demands. Most said they fear for their safety. Their agitation was followed by a lawyers’ protest the next day during which the advocates did not allow litigants to enter the courts either.

The Supreme Court made the remarks while hearing an unrelated case about a lawyers’ strike in Odisha. The Bar Council had described the protesting cops as an “unruly mob” who raised “filthy slogans”, and dismissed their demands as “illegal and ridiculous” in an official statement.

The lawyers claim that one of their colleagues was shot at during Saturday’s clash at the Tis Hazari Court, in which more than 20 policemen and eight advocates were injured and several vehicles vandalised following an argument over a wrongly parked vehicle.

Bar Council of India chairperson Manan Mishra, however, has told the court that the dispute between the police and lawyers will be resolved within two days. The Delhi High Court on November 3 ordered the setting up of a judicial inquiry to investigate the clash the previous day. It also directed that no case should be filed against lawyers involved in the clash, and transferred two senior police officials.

India Legal Bureau

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